Navigating Tax and Economic Recovery Packages after Hurricane Harvey

September 7, 2017

Van Ness Feldman’s Natural Disaster Recovery Team is already engaged in Congressional activity related to Hurricane Harvey. Our seasoned team actively participates in federal and state disaster relief legislation and has worked extensively on the economic recovery packages that were enacted to help the coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico recover from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005.

Van Ness Feldman’s government relations team and regulatory attorneys are leaders in energy and natural resources law and policy.  We understand and know how to advise clients on various federal and state recovery programs. We assist clients in navigating the myriad opportunities to access redevelopment funding in compliance with changes in legislative and regulatory requirements in the wake of a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Harvey.

The firm’s professionals possess a unique combination of legal and policy expertise in many of the subject areas involved in disaster recovery, including:

  • tracking long-term developments to Federal and State government programs and agencies;
  • developing information repositories for Federal and State actions and national news coverage of relief efforts; and
  • assisting energy and technology clients with matters related to disaster response. 

With close ties to agency officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Treasury, and the Internal Revenue Service, we bring the experience and expertise required to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey during recovery efforts.

Federal Economic Recovery Tax Incentives

Almost every major economic/weather disaster over the last 30 years has been followed by Federal government consideration of temporary tax and spending measures. A tax incentive/cost recovery package, designed to assist both individuals and businesses with economic losses in their homes and businesses, will most likely be considered by Congress in the next few weeks.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8) has already said that comprehensive tax reform efforts will be delayed while Congress determines how to provide Federal tax assistance for the economic recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

The firm has the capability to assist clients with designing and promoting tax provisions that will help them recover from the physical and economic devastation and get their businesses up and running as the disaster zone begins to recover.  Previously, we worked on the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 that was designed to help Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and was enacted 25 days after Katrina devastated that part of the Gulf coast.  That same year, we worked on the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 that provided additional tax benefits to assist in the recovery of the entire Gulf coast after Hurricanes Rita and Wilma both came ashore in the Gulf coast region.  These are only a few of the examples of tax bills that have been enacted to address natural disasters, and we expect Congress will once again be considering temporary tax measures to help the recovery from Hurricane Harvey and any potential damage from Hurricane Irma if it comes ashore in the United States.

A list of the individual and business provisions that were included in the tax relief acts for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma is available here.  We are ready to assist you in analyzing which of these provisions would provide the most assistance to your company’s and your employee’s economic recovery and to encourage Congress to include those provisions in an upcoming hurricane relief package.  In addition, we can work with you to analyze your specific business impacts to design other provisions that would promote a faster and stronger economic recovery for your company, your employees, and the entire region.

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Van Ness Feldman’s Natural Disaster Recovery Team is prepared to assist your company as you move from disaster response to recovery.  For additional information on how we may be able to help you, please contact any member of our team: Michael Platner, Stuart Hall, Bob Szabo,  or Rick Agnew

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