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Senators Propose Federal Tax Credits, Breaks For Sandy Victims

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez announce proposed Sandy tax credits Dec. 9, 2012 (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez announce proposed Sandy tax credits Dec. 9, 2012 (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two Democratic senators from the states hardest hit by superstorm Sandy have banded together in their call for federal tax breaks for victims of the storm.

Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey have proposed making all repair expenses fully deductible to help lessen the tax implications for those recovering from the storm.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

The breaks would also include credits to subsidize home and business repairs and help businesses keep workers on the payroll. Under the proposal, exemptions would also be extended to those who housed displaced people during the storm.

1010 WINS Reporter Gary Baumgarten was in Lower Manhattan…

“These changes to existing tax law are a common sense and simple way to help disaster victims, and a quick way to get them aid to repair their homes, to recover losses, and to support their businesses,” Schumer said.

Keeping New Yorkers abreast of everything being done to speed-up post Sandy recovery, and prepare for future storms was State Senator Daniel Squadron.

At a community forum in Lower Manhattan Squadron told 1010 WINS reporter Gary Baumgarten that help is available for anybody who was affected by Sandy and that the best way to make progress is to join the conversation about recovery.

“This is one stop shopping for anybody who was affected by Sandy, whether they fully recovered, or not,” he said.

Manhattan small business owner Paul Guerin was there to find out how he could get help for his broadband company.

“One of the things that I’m seeking here, Senator Squadron spoke of grants for small businesses,” Guerin said.

Meanwhile, Long Beach resident Ruth Banschick said she opened her home to her neighbors who lost everything in Sandy.

“It’s been really a privilege to be able to help them,” Banschick told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

But the Long Islander said insurance will not cover the full cost of damage to her home and she said her business was affected in the aftermath of Sandy.

“My business was impacted by my inability to physically get there for a number of weeks,” she added.

The senators said the proposal would not cost either state in tax revenues, but it would reduce payments to Washington.

“This package will provide the opportunities for them to regain their lives, regain their businesses and help us recover,” Menendez said.

The measure could be up for a vote next week.

Meantime, President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $60.4 billion in additional emergency aid for 11 states struck by superstorm Sandy.

The figure is less than the $83 billion New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sought Thursday from Obama in extra disaster aid for his state plus New York and Connecticut.

President Obama also signed an executive order Friday establishing a Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

Do you support the proposals? Sound off in the comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)