Legislature passes sales tax relief bill for storm victims - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Legislature passes sales tax relief bill for storm victims

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NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- A bi-partisan bill has unanimously passed both chambers of the state legislature that, if signed into law by Gov. Haslam, would provide tax relief to all Tennessee tornado victims.

Tennesseans that qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance authorized by FEMA in Washington, under the measure, could buy appliances, building materials and home furnishings tax free through the end of the year.

"Our hearts go out to those that lost so much due to these terrible acts of nature," said Rep. Eric Watson (R-Cleveland). "Our hope is to help those who lost everything to rebuild. This is important for all the counties affected by the recent storms that did so much destruction."  

"Disaster relief is not a partisan issue. I am proud to stand with our colleagues from across the the state in support of sales tax relief for victims of Tennessee tornadoes," said Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland). "We are very grateful for Governor Haslam's financial support of this bill."

Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) continued, "It is important for the State Legislature to do all we can to help those Tennesseans who are in need."

The proposal provides for tax exemptions on household appliances up to $3,200 per item, building materials up to $500 per item and furnishings up to $3,200 per item. The exemptions are capped at $2,500 per household. Also, a $25,000 fine would be imposed on anyone who fraudulently applies for the assistance.  Tennesseans have one year from the date shown on their FEMA application to apply for the sales tax refund with the State.

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