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Rep. Cole Announces Agreement on Legislation to Reverse IRS Ruling on Storm Shelter Grants

March 10, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that the Ways and Means Committee is asking House Leadership to schedule legislation on the floor next week that will clarify ambiguity in the tax code to ensure taxes will not be levied on FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants used to build storm shelters. Working with the rest of the Oklahoma delegation and many other House Members, Cole is pushing for legislation to be brought up under expedited procedures.

"With April 15th just around the corner, I am pleased that there is a good possibility we will be voting on this legislation next week. Many Oklahomans are worried they might have to pay unexpected taxes next month on the grants they received to build storm shelters," Congressman Tom Cole said. "I do not believe these grants should be taxed, and I am working hard, along with the rest of the Oklahoma Delegation to make sure legislation is signed by the President before people turn in their taxes this year."

Congressman Mark Foley introduced legislation Monday, March 7, that contains language that would reverse an IRS ruling that determined all FEMA grants to build storm shelters would be taxable as income. Congressman Tom Cole was an original co-sponsor of this legislation.

Congressman Cole has been working with Congressman Foley, the Ways and Means Committee and members of the Oklahoma Delegation to ensure the bill that is enacted legislation covers all awardees dating back to 1999.