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Long Leads Disaster Relief Effort for Joplin

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Representative Billy Long continues his fight for Joplin and other Missouri tornado and flood victims by cosponsoring the Southeastern Disaster Tax Relief Act, a bill that would provide tax relief for recent disaster areas across the United States.

Long, an original cosponsor to the Southeastern Disaster Tax Relief Act, says the bill will provide tax-relief to families, businesses, and local governments recently devastated by severe weather. Counties in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee would be eligible for temporary tax-assistance. The Act is similar to legislation passed in previous Congresses in response to natural disasters, most notably the Katrina Tax Relief Act of 2005.

"Six years ago, tax relief was critical in rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina," said Long. "Today, communities in the Southeast and Midwest face similar devastation. It is time for Congress to extend the same benefits and ease the burdens for those who are trying to rebuild their community and their lives."

Those who qualify for assistance will receive tax-relief for personal property losses, penalty-free withdrawals from retirement plans, a low-income housing credit, education tax benefits, an employee retention credit, immediate expensing of costs, and tax-exempt bond financing. The legislation remains budget neutral, redirecting unused federal funds.

In Congress, Long has championed the rebuilding of Joplin after the April tornado, voting to release $1 billion dollars to cover disaster relief costs. He also continues to work with federal, state, and local leaders ensuring continued progress in rebuilding.

"Joplin has faced challenges that most communities won't ever see," said Long. "The countless volunteers, first responders, and community leaders have done their job, now it's time for members of Congress to do theirs."

Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate. Before a bill becomes law it must pass both chambers of Congress and be signed by the President.

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