Jun 24, 2024 | Press Releases

Nunn Leads Iowa Delegation Bill to Bring Tax-Relief to Families Impacted by Disaster

DES MOINES — U.S. Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03) today introduced legislation with the entire Iowa House delegation to bring much needed tax relief to families impacted by severe storms. The Heartland Emergency Assistance Relief from Tax (HEART) Act, which is co-led by U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), and Randy Feenstra (IA-04) permanently exempts compensation for losses or damages resulting from certain severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes. 
“Earlier this year, our community was hit by destructive, deadly, and devastating storms. Iowans are resilient, and watching our community come together to rebuild is inspiring,” said Rep. Nunn. “Unfortunately, it’s costly to rebuild – these storms take an emotional toll and fixing the physical damage is pricey. We can provide some relief to these families by reducing the tax burden and helping their funds go a little further. Helping here, in the heart of the heartland, when Mother Nature strikes.” 
In 2024, Iowa and the broader heartland were devastated by an unprecedented number of tornadoes and related disasters. On May 21, 2024, a tornado tore through Greenfield, Iowa, killing four people and destroying at least 200 homes. With winds reaching 185 miles per hour, this was the deadliest tornado in the country in the past year. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center reports that this year’s preliminary tornado count is 32% above average on the year. 
“More than 80 confirmed tornadoes have ravaged Iowa in 2024. Providing financial relief to those impacted by these natural disasters is more important than ever,” said Rep. Miller-Meeks. “The HEART Act will eliminate the tax burden for those who received financial relief following severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes. This bill ensures that the government doesn’t add insult to injury to those trying to rebuild their lives. I’m proud to cosponsor this bill and thank Rep. Nunn for introducing it.” 
Rebuilding after destructive storms is expensive. On average, the cost for repairs after tornado damage starts at $5,000 and can raise to hundreds of thousands based on the severity of the damage. 
“Iowa continues to be pummeled by severe weather, and many families are having to factor in unexpected repair costs into their budgets,” said Rep. Hinson.“I’m proud to work alongside my colleagues to provide tax relief to those impacted by disasters and help lessen some of the financial burden during stressful times. I’m hopeful this commonsense solution will receive bipartisan support.” 
“In Iowa, severe weather isn’t only destructive and devastating, but it can also be very costly to repair damages and rebuild. Our communities have experienced the worst of tornadoes and other storms that require major financial resources to recover,” said Rep. Feenstra. “When our families receive financial compensation for damages and losses from severe weather, that money should not be taxed. In the aftermath of storms and disasters, every dollar counts. That’s why I’m working with my colleagues to ensure that money received for damage and losses from severe storms is permanently exempt from being taxed.” 
The HEART Act will exclude any amount received by an individual taxpayer as compensation for expenses or losses incurred from severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes from their gross taxable income. For compensation to be exempt, the President must declare a major disaster in the affected areas following the storms. 
Rep. Nunn introduced the bill in Pleasant Hill during a press conference with Iowa State Representative Bubba Sorensen. 
Text of the bill can be found here.