Millions Qualify For New Tax Relief Program

Millions of people in California are eligible for tax relief from the Internal Revenue service if they were affected by severe storms that happened in San Diego County in January.

The National Weather Service reported that the area experienced the highest rainfall amounts in a 24-hour period since way back in the 1850s.

In response, the IRS is offering tax relief to both businesses and individuals who were affected by the storms and subsequent flooding that started on January 21, the agency announced Tuesday.

Relief is going to be available to any areas that the Federal Emergency Management Association designated. Currently, that only includes businesses and residents in San Diego County, which has a population of more than 3 million people.

For five days in late January, the county was battered by heavy rain and mountain snow that was accumulating. That resulted in widespread flooding occurring throughout the region.

The wettest day on record in San Diego County happened on January 22. In NWS, there were 2.73 inches of rain over a 24-hour period.

FEMA says that just one inch of rainwater could cause as much as $25,000 in damage to a home. A report by local media outlet NBC 7 San Diego revealed that San Diego County estimated that there was $90 million in the region, along with $4.1 million in damages that the county is responsible for.

Three people also died as a result of the storms and resulting flooding, and massive damage was dealt to properties, homes and cars. States of emergency were declared by both local county and city authorities, as well as by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

In mid-February, Newsom said that his request to the White House for a declaration that San Diego was a presidential major disaster area had been approved. That enabled federal funding to be released to help local and state authorities with their recovery efforts.

The aid is now available in the form of “temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster,” according to the governor.

A Newsweek report revealed that millions of homeowners in America aren’t able to get flood insurance even though there’s been a spike in how frequent and severe flood events are becoming — even in some areas that aren’t typically exposed to this type of weather.

In California, standard home insurance doesn’t cover any losses that happened because of flood damage. California mortgages that are backed by the federal government don’t require homeowners to carry flood insurance.

The National Flood Insurance Program, a part of FEMA that’s responsible for covering flood damage, issued numbers recently that show that just 52,820 businesses and homes in eight counties in Southern California where states of emergencies were proclaimed in January were covered by flood insurance.

These counties include Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles.