September 12,2005

Grassley Comments on Hurricane Katrina Tax Relief Package

Remarks of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman of the Committee on Finance
News Conference regarding Emergency Tax Relief for Hurricane Katrina Victims
Monday, September 12, 2005

Sen. Baucus and I have been working together on the Finance Committee to develop initiatives to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina both in the short and long term. We know thattax incentives helped to revitalize New York after 9-11. They can do the same for New Orleans,Gulfport and the other hurricane-hit areas.

The immediate-relief package that we’re announcing today will help get short-term aid tohurricane victims by encouraging food donations and the employment of displaced individuals, forexample. We also want to help protect Katrina victims from undeserved IRS trouble.

We expect to see prompt action by Congress on this tax relief package. We need to get thesetax incentives on the books and help Katrina victims make a fresh start.

After this package is completed, our focus will be on longer-term tax incentives to helprebuild homes and businesses. We’re looking at depreciation changes, tax-exempt bond authority(arbitrage rebate), and enterprise-zone initiatives.

Life will never be the same for our fellow citizens in the Gulf Region. And what we’ve allseen over the last two weeks will stay in the hearts and minds of all of us for years and years tocome.

With this first initiative from the Finance Committee – and there will be more in other areaswhere we have jurisdiction – we want the victims in all of the affected areas to know that they cancount on us to create a set of measures that will help return vitality and vigor to the Gulf region.