The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Letters

October 28, 2013

Biggert-Waters Act

I am writing to inform the readers of an impending change to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which will effect all those who live within a flood zone and must carry flood insurance. The Biggert-Waters Act (co-sponsers Maxine Waters and Judy Biggert, both U.S. congress women) was passed in 2012 to supposedly reform the NFIP but as it stands will potentially devastate normal hard-working homeowners who are already strapped.

This act removes subsidies on flood insurance premium rates effective Oct. 1, 2013. What does this do? It causes flood insurance premiums to explode. An example is our flood insurance premium which went from $792 in 2013 to an estimated $2,400 in 2014. Oh and by the way, that is due in one payment, no quarterly payments like any other kind of insurance, and due on Feb. 1st. In addition each homeowner must have an elevation certificate done on their home. Estimated cost out of pocket for the homeowner is $500-$700. I estimated because my wife spent two days on the phone with many people who knew very little information about these changes.

What are some of the expected consequences of this? Try decreasing home values, lower tax revenue for county/state governments due to these lowered values, increased difficulty selling a home in the flood prone areas, increased foreclosures due to people being unable to afford both a mortgage and the increased thousands in NFIP premimums, etc.

We are not asking for any sympathy due to living in a flood zone; we chose to live there simply because it was a home we could afford.

However to change the rules in "midstream" for everyday, normal hard-working people, many of whom are struggling, is another example of a federal government that acts without caring or thinking of their consequences.

Jeff Smead,

Muncy

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