My Solution to the Hurricane Ian Qualified Loss Dilemma
From January 2021 through January 2023, Democrats possessed complete control of the federal government. With Joe Biden serving as President of the United States, Nancy Pelosi serving as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the Democratic tiebreaker in the U.S. Senate, Washington Democrats were able to push through trillions of dollars in reckless inflationary spending bills.
As a Freshman Congressman, I was shocked at how Speaker Pelosi ran our chamber. In a legislative body that was set-up to promote dialogue, the free flow of ideas and a collaborative,
member-driven approach to crafting legislation, Speaker Pelosi chose to run the 117th Congress by dictate. In any previous Congress and under our current House Republican majority led by
Speaker McCarthy, all members of Congress are allowed to submit amendments to legislation regardless of party affiliation. This is called an open amendment process and ensures that the concerns of the minority party are heard. Under then-Speaker Pelosi, this process did not exist. Pelosi would bring bills to the floor of the House of Representatives for vote without any Republican input.
For these two years, Pelosi and House Democrats introduced bill after bill named after seemingly important and necessary policy proposals such as infrastructure or inflation reduction but
bastardized the original intent of each proposal by backloading them with various progressive policy agenda items that never would be able to pass on their own. For example, the House passed an environmental bill that did not reduce inflation and included many of the Green New Deal’s policy proposals but named it the Inflation Reduction Act.
The negative repercussions of Pelosi’s flagrant disregard for Republican input came home to roost during the past hurricane season. Despite finding room to fund drag story hours, far-left
“anti-racist” oral historians, a Muslim jazz series, the development of non-binary teenage writers and a transgender dance studio in her spending bills, Pelosi completely ignored Southwest Florida in our time of need. Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona wreaked havoc and consequently resulted in catastrophic property damage and loss.
In a normal Congress, provisions are always made to list the most recent natural disasters as “major disasters” on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Form 4684. Once listed on Form 4684,
taxpayers are able to deduct qualified disaster losses on their taxes without 10% adjusted gross income or itemized deduction limitations. This did not occur last Congress. As a result, the people who were most in need come the 2023 tax season were left in an unacceptable predicament. My office even reached out to the IRS for guidance, but their response was no better. They told us that no one in our region was eligible for additional tax relief because the limitation waivers were not extended in recent legislation during the last Congress.
Once the House of Representatives was released from Pelosi’s abnormal, ineffective, and damaging stranglehold in 2023, I took action on behalf of our community. I introduced the Hurricane Tax
Relief Act alongside U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to address this issue head-on. We immediately gained the support of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Del. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Rep. Scott
Franklin (R-FL), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) in our legislative fight.
Our bill will provide enhanced disaster loss tax relief to those affected by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona. Specifically, with respect to individuals in these affected areas, the bill modifies the deduction for personal casualty losses in the hurricane disaster areas to eliminate: (1) the requirement for losses to exceed 10% of adjusted gross income to qualify for the deduction, and (2) the requirement to itemize. The legislation mirrors what has been done for previous hurricanes and natural disasters. Previous legislation enacting these provisions has been put in law as recently as 2020. Upon passage, victims of Hurricanes Ian, Nicole and Fiona will be eligible for this additional tax relief.
The Hurricane Tax Relief Act is a commonsense proposal with bicameral support, a strong roster of cosponsors and will be a tangible solution to this dire problem in our community. I am proud
to be your advocate in the halls of Congress and will continue to fight hard on your behalf in order to ensure that we all are treated fairly by the federal government.
CONTACT MY OFFICE
Collier County Office
3299 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 105, Naples, FL 34112
Washington, DC Office
1719 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515