Kudos to U.S. Representative Tom Marino for introducing legislation aimed at completely repealing all facets of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
I realize that by saying this I may have already lost more than 75 percent of the readers who began perusing this letter both those who think, "Marino? Who cares?" but especially, "Flood insurance... pppfffttt... that doesn't affect me."
However, I am especially writing to those of you who think Biggert-Waters isn't relevant to you. Granted, some of us are more deeply and personally affected by this legislation than others. However, I would like to present just a few ways that it does impact you, and why you need to contact your elected officials to pledge support for this bipartisan effort.
First, the instantaneous loss in property values that so many of us experienced when the government essentially 're-wrote the books' on flood insurance lowers the tax base for virtually every municipality in the region. Since I doubt that local governments will simply absorb the losses of 5, 20 or even 50 percent of their tax base, everyone else's property taxes will increase proportionately in order to maintain local services and programs.
Second, the incredible increases that some are experiencing in flood insurance premiums based on how the government now calculates them has the real potential of seeing many properties being foreclosed upon, abandoned or left run-down. This, again, affects every other adjoining property and neighborhood. And, that doesn't even address the human suffering by many in our area as well as the toll that will be experienced by local social service agencies, churches and groups who attempt to assist the most directly affected individuals.
Lastly, Biggert-Waters essentially amounted to the legalized seizure by the government of billions and billions of dollars of assets held by private individuals and businesses all across the United States. And, although virtually everyone in Congress voted for it initially, no one seemingly paused to realize the implications. As Rep. Marino recently said, "When Biggert-Waters was enacted, no one anticipated rates would increase so drastically." Virtually no one was informed of the act and how it would impact them, directly or indirectly. Even one of the original authors has gone pubic acknowledging this law was a mistake and had been prematurely enacted.
Get behind this grassroots effort and contact your local state and federal officials to support the repeal of this bill.
Joseph S. Miller
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom