In the last few days, Congress has come to an agreement to delay the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act and the proposed rate hikes for those in flood prone areas. The following article from the Insurance Journal details the story.
This is very good news for our friends in the low-lying parishes as well as us “up here” in the Baton Rouge area. Ascension and Livingston had been seeing some effects of the proposed changes and while not widespread, some of the renewal rates were shocking. With this deal, FEMA now has 4 years to conduct more appropriate feasibility and affordability studies to implement this in a responsible and fair manner.
What is more interesting about this legislative fix are who the opponents are. Some taxpayer groups, are calling the delay “disastrous”, making the case that taxpayers should be furious over the delay in order to fund an insolvent program, essentially wasting tax dollars. However, it is these same taxpayers that could be literally left out in the cold and sitting on un-sellable property if the original legislation progressed as planned. Those taxpayers are actually getting what they pay for in the form of a subsidy to help them afford the homes they are in!
What are your thoughts – should we “rip off the band aid” and allow the flood insurance rate hikes to take affect swiftly to make the program solvent? Or should we delay the implementation at the cost of more taxpayer dollars in order to work through the kinks?
– David Madaffari