Crumbling concrete tax aid added to federal infrastructure bill

I-Team

WASHINGTON D.C. (WWLP) – The issue of crumbling foundations is now getting attention on a federal level. Two tax provisions have been included in the infrastructure bill that’s backed by President Biden.

Crumbling foundations have been found in homes spanning Hampden and Worcester counties, and parts of Connecticut. It’s a problem that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix, and here in Massachusetts, homeowners have to foot that bill.

The $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act, also known as the infrastructure bill, now includes tax provisions to help with those costs after it passed the Ways and Means Committee late last week. One provision would create a federal tax credit to reimburse homeowners up to $50,000 for a new foundation, and other costs related to the major project – like landscaping or replacing a driveway. How this works: the homeowner would have to front the bill to replace the foundation, then apply to get money back from the federal government.

Another provision would repeal the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s temporary limitation on personal casualty loss deductions so that homeowners that were affected by deteriorating concrete foundations can deduct losses retroactive to 2018.

Congressman Richard Neal is the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. He told 22News, “During our almost 40 hours of debate, the Committee worked through 66 amendments and debated measures that will provide support to the American family. Two tax provisions that passed through the Committee would ensure that homeowners had a way to defray the cost of replacing or repairing their home’s crumbling foundation. This assistance is vital. Homeowners find themselves in this position through no fault of their own and our objective on the Ways and Means Committee is to lessen that burden as best as we can.”

Michelle Loglisci, who’s Monson home has a crumbling foundation, told 22News most people can’t pay for a six-figure project out of pocket.

“When you’re talking $150,000 to $250,000 on average, a $50,000 tax credit doesn’t get the job done,” Loglisci said. “Most people can’t afford to do that.”

She has been pushing for a bill that’s in the committee phase at the statehouse in Boston right now.
It would help homeowners get some financial assistance to replace crumbling foundations, by creating a “captive insurance company.” This would authorize a qualified group to manage and distribute any state, local or federal funds to families impacted by crumbing concrete. Loglisci said getting this bill passed here in Massachusetts is crucial.

The group Massachusetts Residents Against Crumbling Concrete is encouraging homeowners dealing with this issue to sign a petition asking the state legislature to hold a hearing on the bill. A hearing has not been scheduled yet, but State Representative Brian Ashe said he hopes to hold on “soon.”

“The two new tax credit initiatives are a welcome sign of progress to this growing issue. For the past several years, homeowners have been unfairly forced to place the burden of cost on themselves even though they did absolutely nothing wrong. Now that the Federal government has recognized and taken action on the issue, it is up to the state legislature to work in conjunction with the Federal initiatives and provide the much-needed assistance to the residents of Massachusetts.  Bill S548, filed by State Senator Anne Gobi, will allow the state to move forward and provide residents the funding needed to repair and stay in their homes.” State Representative Brian Ashe

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