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Reps. Pettersen and LaMalfa Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Families and Businesses Prepare for Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Representatives Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) introduced legislation to ease burdensome barriers homeowners and business owners face when trying to prepare, or “harden,” their properties for natural disasters. The bipartisan Natural Disaster Property Protection Act will reduce paperwork and cut down on unnecessary red tape by increasing the amount of money individuals can invest in disaster mitigation projects without having to report them to the Internal Revenue Service.

Specifically, the bill raises the Internal Revenue Service filing mandate for 1099 forms from $600 to $5,000. Click here for the full text of the bill.

“Protecting your home or business from extreme weather or the wildfires that get worse every year in Colorado shouldn’t be a burdensome process with unnecessary IRS paperwork to complicate things,” said Pettersen. “As we continue to battle the climate crisis, we have to give people every tool they need to protect their families, hard-earned businesses, and homes before a disaster happens. Thankful to Congressman LaMalfa and officials in Fremont County for their leadership in this bipartisan effort to make it easier for people to take on protection projects.”

“This $600 threshold is a drop in the bucket when looking at property projects and improvements, especially with the inflated costs for supplies and labor,” said LaMalfa.“The IRS does not need to be involved in a homeowners decision to complete small-scale disaster mitigation projects.”

“This will help many around the country be able to mitigate their properties for potential disasters, many of whom may have been hesitant before because of the challenging red tape,” said Dwayne McFall, Fremont County Commissioner for District 3.

In total, 2,544 homes in Colorado have been lost due to fires in the past 20 years, and countless others have been damaged not just from wildfires, but also floods, hail, tornadoes, and snowstorms. Pettersen introduced this bill following concerns from community leaders, especially those in the rural parts of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, about barriers residents are facing to harden their property against weather events which are increasing in frequency and ferocity because of climate change. While many newer buildings and properties are being constructed with wildfires and other precautions in mind, older houses and businesses are at a much higher risk of damage or devastation during a natural disaster. The current $600 threshold does not align with average costs of home hardening projects, with wildfire mitigation alone costing roughly $2,400 per acre in parts of Pettersen’s district.