The Rockland County Legislature’s Budget & Finance Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday to urge Congress to support a Hurricane Sandy tax relief package proposed by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Robert Menendez (NJ). The federal bill would aid individuals and businesses that suffered financial loss from the storm.
The major provisions of the Schumer/Menendez proposals are:
- Full deduction for disaster clean up expense
- Relaxed retirement plan distribution rules – elimination of the 10 percent penalty tax that would otherwise apply on an early withdrawal from a retirement plan and permit individuals to withdraw up to $100,000 without penalty to cover storm-related expenses
- Housing Exemptions for displaced individuals – would provide additional tax exemptions for individuals who provide free shelter for at least 60 days to anyone displaced by the storm ($500 exemption per person, maximum of four exemptions for the year)
- Worker retention credit – would extend tax credits to business owners who continued paying wages while their businesses were forced to close. The credits would apply to businesses with 200 or fewer employees and would equal 40 percent of an employee’s first $6,000 in wages paid between the day the business closed and the day it reopened (before March 1, 2013)
“I am pleased that Senators Schumer and Menendez have acted swiftly to propose tax relief legislation for victims of Hurricane Sandy,” said Ilan Legislator Schoenberger (D-Suffern), who introduced the county measure. “While monetary relief can never lessen the impact of the storm considering the loss of life, property and possessions, it is a very helpful proposal that can provide quick relief to those rebuilding their homes and businesses.”
The resolution will appear on the Tuesday, Dec. 18th agenda of the full legislature.