David Jolly introduces bill to extend NFIP reform

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Pinellas County’s newest Congressman, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, is wasting no time getting down to business.

Jolly introduced legislation March 26 that would extend relief from the high cost of flood insurance to businesses and owner-occupied second homes. Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Congressman Gus Bilirakus are co-sponsors of H.R.4313 – the Flood Insurance Premium Parity Act, which would “ensure fairness in premium rates for coverage for business properties and second homes under the National Flood Insurance Program, and for other purposes.”

Specifically, the Flood Insurance Premium Parity Act would:

• Ensure that commercial properties and second homes purchased after the enactment of Biggert-Waters have access to affordable flood insurance by repealing the requirement that they be automatically charged actuarially sound rates.

• Restore grandfathered rates for commercial properties and second homes.

• Apply to commercial properties and second homes the same formula for yearly rate increases received by residential properties.

Jolly provided an update on his work in Washington D.C. during a conference call March 27 facilitated by the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce. Pinellas County voters in District 13 chose Jolly to finish out the term of former Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young during a March 11 special election. Young died Oct. 18, 2013.

Jolly said his legislation is “simple in concept,” extending relief measures enacted 10 days ago for single-family residences and applying it to business property and owner-occupied second homes.

Jolly described the measure as a “baby step” toward finding a solution to the problem of keeping the National Flood Insurance Program solvent and providing affordable insurance rates for property owners.

He said the extended relief would apply only to second homes, such as those owned by snowbirds. There is one catch.

“If they lease it out they lose the relief,” he said.

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