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

March 3, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that an agreement has been made on how to move forward on legislation that would 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. Congressman Cole will be co-sponsoring a new piece of legislation to be introduced by Representative Mark Foley (FL-16) that is expected to pass the House and Senate before tax day.

"This is great news for those worried about having to pay taxes on the storm shelter grants next month," Congressman Tom Cole said. "The Oklahoma delegation along with many other members of Congress have helped put this legislation on the fast track and are working to make sure a comprehensive bill-one that includes all awardees dating back to 1999-will be sent to the President as soon as possible."

Although the exact language has not be drafted, the Ways and Means Committee has directed Representative Marc Foley to draft a new piece of legislation that is expected to be the main vehicle to quickly move this issue through both Houses of Congress and to the President for his signature.

In December, Congressman Cole was made aware of an IRS ruling that determined all FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grants to build storm shelters would be taxable as income. This ruling would require the several thousand Oklahomans who received this grant to pay the tax. The grants averaged $2,000 per reward.