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Rep. Cole Commends Delegation on Efforts to Reverse IRS Ruling on Storm Shelters

February 8, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole announced today that the President's budget includes language that would reverse a recent IRS decision that would require recipients of storm shelter grants to pay taxes on the funds they received.

"I am very pleased that this language is included in the President's budget. The Oklahoma delegation has been working hard to change this ruling through the legislative process and this shows our efforts are beginning to bear fruit," Congressman Cole said. "I commend the President for taking this initiative to ensure taxes will not have to be paid on grants for storm shelters."

In December, Congressman Cole became 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.

"There are still several steps that need to be taken to pass this legislation, but having the President highlight this issue as a priority will surely speed along the process," Congressman Cole said.

The language for this proposal can be found in the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Blue Book for FY 2006 budget on page 54.