The members of the Rockland County Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday to urge the United States Senate and the House of Representatives to support a tax relief package proposed by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (NY) and Robert Menendez (NJ) to aid individuals and businesses that suffered financial loss due to Hurricane Sandy. Legislator Ilan Schoenberger, chair of the committee, sponsored and introduced the resolution.
The major provisions of the Schumer/Menendez proposals are:
• Full deduction for disaster clean up expense
• Relaxed retirement plan distribution rules – elimination of the 10 percent penalty tax that would otherwise apply on an early withdrawal from a retirement plan and permit individuals to withdraw up to $100,000 without penalty to cover storm-related expenses
• Housing Exemptions for displaced individuals – would provide additional tax exemptions for individuals who provide free shelter for at least 60 days to anyone displaced by the storm ($500 exemption per person, maximum of four exemptions for the year)
• Worker retention credit – would extend tax credits to business owners who continued paying wages while their businesses were forced to close. The credits would apply to businesses with 200 or fewer employees and would equal 40% of an employee’s first $6,000 in wages paid between the day the business closed and the day it reopened (before March 1, 2013)
The resolution will appear on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the full legislature on December 18, 2012.