WASHINGTON, D.C. (WNCT) – Senators Richard Burr, Thom Tillis, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, Lindsey Graham, Johnny Isakson, and Marco Rubio introduced legislation to provide tax relief to victims of several 2018 natural disasters.

The bipartisan bill, the Hurricanes Florence and Michael and California Wildfire Tax Relief Act, would continue to provide relief to victims of last year’s natural disasters. 

“North Carolina is still rebuilding from Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, both of which devastated communities, destroyed homes and created lasting financial hardships,” said Senator Burr. Congress must do its part and provide much-needed relief to affected families and businesses who are still picking up the pieces of their lives. This legislation will continue to provide eligible individuals and businesses with critical tax relief so they have the flexibility and means to rebuild their lives, homes, and communities.”

“Natural disasters caused widespread destruction in North Carolina and across the United States last year, leaving families without homes, businesses unable to open, and financial hardship for those trying to recover,” said Senator Tillis. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation that would provide much-needed tax relief for families and small businesses who were affected, including those in North Carolinians recovering from Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.”

The Hurricanes Florence and Michael and California Wildfire Tax Relief Act would continue to provide much-needed relief to eligible individuals and businesses within the federally-designated disaster zones.

Specifically, the legislation would:

  • Allow more taxpayers to claim a deduction for personal casualty losses by removing the requirement to itemize;
  • Remove penalties on certain hardship withdrawals from retirement accounts;
  • Encourage employers in hard-hit areas to retain employees;
  • Allow taxpayers to use earned income from the preceding year when claiming Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit;
  • Suspend limits on charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts.

Senators Burr, Tillis, Feinstein, Harris, Graham, and Rubio introduced similar legislation last Congress in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael and the California wildfires.