Area representative files storm shelter tax credit legislation
Friday, December 2, 2011
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- With the Missouri Legislature set to reconvene next month for its first general session since the devastating Joplin tornado, one state lawmaker is looking to make it easier for Missourians to protect themselves from future storms.
On the first day of prefiling for the 2012 legislative session, state Rep. Terry Swinger, D-Caruthersville, submitted a bill that would establish tax breaks for the construction of storm shelters.
This is not the first time Swinger has attempted to create such a tax break. He filed a similar bill in 2007 following a severe tornado in his hometown. Although he was unsuccessful then, he hopes the record-setting tornado in Joplin, which left 161 people dead, will galvanize lawmakers to take action this time.
"As Joplin, Caruthersville and other Missouri communities that have been hit by tornadoes know, storm shelters save lives," Swinger said in a written statement. "By providing a tax break for storm shelter construction, more Missouri families will be able to protect themselves from severe and potentially deadly weather."
Swinger's bill would grant homeowners an income tax deduction for the cost of building their shelter up to $5,000. The state legislature is set to return to the capitol on Jan. 4.