Kentucky lawmakers are planning to help home and business owners in tornado-stricken areas.
Earlier this month, tornadoes ripped through Northern and Eastern Kentucky, causing millions of dollars in damage. But lawmakers are working on legislation to give storm victims refunds on sales tax for building materials.
The plan addresses a concern that people won’t rebuild destroyed towns.
“If you were, got an insurance check or a FEMA check, you may look around and there be such devastation in your community that you might decide you want to locate somewhere else,” says Representative John Will Stacy, who lives in the hard-hit town West Liberty. “But we don’t want to leave our communities like that, we want to fix these areas and we don’t want to leave a blighted area,” Stacy says.
The proposal has the support of leadership of both parties in both legislative chambers.
At a news conference announcing the proposal, lawmakers said they are looking at other ways to help the area, but the current proposal is the only solid effort so far.
The program will be open for three years and those who wish for refunds must submit receipts and proof they are rebuilding.
“It’s gonna be a year, maybe more, before these economies get back in places,” says Senator Robert Stivers. “And some of these businesses are going to have a hard time just establishing themselves and rebuilding and getting their clientele back.”