Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Death and Taxes: Ike edition (Updated)

Austen Furse, candidate for SD17 (Kyle Janek's old seat) has put forth a campaign, with the backing of Sen. Mike Jackson (R-LaPorte) and Rep. John Zerwas (R-Houston), as well as Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, to call for Taxing authorities throughout the region to reassess all properties impacted by Hurricane Ike. They are urging everyone to sign their petition. There is already a law on the books that allows this to occur, but there is nothing REQUIRING taxing authorities to do so. The reasoning is that if you own property that was significantly damaged by the storm, it is obviously not worth as much as it was prior to the storm, so you should not have to pay taxes on the prior value of the property. In some cases in Galveston and Bolivar, there is no property to tax any more, the house or building is gone and the land is now partially or wholly owned by the state thanks to Ike moving the vegetation line and redefining the beach.

Southern Tragedy emails me to let me know that the IRS is getting into the act as well and are giving taxpayers an extension (but no credit) to pay their federal taxes. Below is her email:

Hurricane Ike Federal Tax Relief

U. S. Internal Revenue Service Information

The IRS has granted an extension to Texas and Louisiana taxpayers who live in certain counties and were affected by Hurricane Ike.

The Texas counties are Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington.

The Louisiana parishes are Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Sabine, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion, and Vernon.

If you live in one of these counties or parishes, you have until January 5, 2009, to file federal income tax returns and make payments that were due on or after September 7, 2008, and before January 5, 2009. This includes individual income tax returns that were due on October 15 and individual estimated tax returns and corporate tax returns that were due on September 15.

For more information, access the following Web sites:,,id=186874,00.html. (Texas residents) and:,,id=186875,00.html (Louisiana residents).

Texas Sales Tax Information
Charges for certain repair services as well as purchases with certain vouchers may be exempt from Texas sales tax. Please check the Texas Comptroller's Web site for more information:

For Louisiana sales tax information, check with your parish.


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