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Houck plans earthquake relief bill

State Sen. Edd Houck is proposing an income tax credit for Louisa County property owners with earthquake damage.

In a call with reporters today, Houck said he’ll submit a bill for the 2012 legislative session.

That’s assuming he’s reelected — Houck faces Republican Bryce Reeves for the 17th state Senate district seat. The election is just about a week away.

Louisa County, hard-hit by the August earthquake, is partly in the 17th Senate District. Federal officials have denied Gov. Bob McDonnell’s request for federal individual assistance funds to help repair the approximately $15 million in damages to private property.

McDonnell has filed the appeal against that denial, including information on damages that were worse than officials thought when he initially requested federal assistance.

McDonnell has also requested federal help with damages to public structures.

Houck’s proposal is a one-time income tax credit, available to property owners who sustained earthquake damage, had no insurance and got no financial assistance from FEMA. The tax credit would apply only to repairs to a home as it existed before the earthquake, and if passed would only take effect if FEMA denies McDonnell’s appeal.


(this post has been updated)