Shandaken Homeowners: Please Help Maintain Current Flood Rates!

Please read the following press release. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act is the legislation that proposes to increase Flood insurance rates nationally by changing it from a subsidized system to actual costs. The Release below explains that the US Senate yesterday chose to withhold this change until a more equitable solution can be found. I ask that each of you spread the word of this and ask friends and neighbors to contact their Congressmen (ours being Chris Gibson) and request that the House pass similar legislation through Bill H.R. 3370 (Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013). Any support we can get would be beneficial for the long-term sustainability of all of our communities.
Sincerely, Robert A. Stanley, Supervisor -Town of Shandaken
 Contact Congressman Chris Gibson PO BOX 775, Kinderhook, NY 12106
Senate passes measure that delays federal flood insurance premiums

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Counties (NACo) today applauded
Senate passage of legislation to delay implementation of new federal flood
insurance premiums which would cause insurance rates to rise rapidly in certain
areas of the country. For information on how this legislation would impact
counties and the people they serve, please click here to read NACo’s new
legislative presentation on Biggert-Waters and the National Flood Insurance Program

The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 (S. 1926), which passed by
a 67-32 vote, would delay for four years implementation of flood insurance premiums
until after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completes its
affordability study and Congress can act on those recommendations.

The legislation is in response to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of
2012 (BW-12), signed into law in July of 2012, which aimed to make FEMA’s National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) more financially stable by reflecting true flood
risks in communities.

NACo and county leaders raised concerns that implementation of BW-12 resulted in
some unexpected complications, including rapidly increasing flood insurance
premiums in local communities.

“A number of the nation’s 3,069 counties represented by NACo, both coastal and
inland, have stated that their homeowners and businesses are facing drastically
increasing annual NFIP flood insurance premiums due to BW-12’s phase-outs of
subsidized premium rates,” said NACo President Linda Langston, supervisor, Linn
County, Iowa. “Cleary, more study needs to be undertaken before full
implementation of flood insurance reform to protect affected homeowners and
businesses from further unintended economic hardship.”

Counties are concerned about the impact high insurance premiums will have on their
residents, businesses and local economies.

“This has a large impact on average citizens who are required to carry flood
insurance,” said NACo Second Vice President Sallie Clark. “This affects our
neighbors: teachers, firefighters, small business owners; the people who form the
fabric of communities. Without changes to this legislation, homeowners will simply
not be able to afford annual flood insurance rates that are three or four times
more than what they originally paid. As a result, unaffordable costs could force
them to walk away from their homes, adding uncertainty to communities and affecting
their counties’ property tax base.”

According to the Government Accountability Office, properties in 2,930 counties had
subsidized policies as of June 2012. Many low-lying areas contain lower income
and/or middle income resident and business properties, which cannot absorb high
insurance premiums.

“We call on the House of Representatives to quickly act on the House companion bill
to S. 1926, H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, and
send the bill to the president’s desk for his signature,” said Langston.

NACo supports a sustainable, fiscally responsible NFIP that protects the businesses
and homeowners who built according to code and have followed all applicable laws.
NACo urges Congress to amend the Biggert-Waters Act to keep flood insurance rates
affordable while balancing the fiscal solvency of the program.

Robert A. Stanley
Supervisor, Town of Shandaken
Shandaken Town Hall
PO Box 134
Shandaken, NY 12480
Phone: 845.688.7165
Fax: 845.688.7392