Coastal and Riverine Flood Resilience

House Bill: H 5124

Sponsored by Representatives Casimiro, Craven, Noret, Donovan, McEntee

Senate Bill: S 475

Sponsored by Senators Euer and DiMario

Legislative Explanation

H 5124 and S 475 enables cities and towns to provide a tax exemption to individuals who make structural improvements to their homes located within a flood plain to mitigate flood disasters.

Issue Background

For the last several years, Congress has failed to negotiate a permanent restructuring of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), while passing eleven short-term flood insurance extensions since 2017. The result is unpredictability for homeowners who reside and/or own homes in high-risk flood areas throughout Rhode Island, and expensive insurance premiums to safeguard properties in designated flood zones. The Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® (RIAR) asked the General Assembly to introduce H 5124 and S 475, as we believe the legislation will be a tool that protects residents from elevated sea level rise in high-risk flood areas, while providing middle-class homeowners with needed tax relief for pre-disaster mitigation.

Please let your Representatives and Senators Know:

Homeowners Need Predictability and Tax Relief

  • Rhode Island’s high number of active flood insurance policies underscores why proactive measures are necessary to mitigate the economic hardships caused by coastal and riverine flooding.
  • H 5124 and S 475 could be a mechanism for reducing floods and/or offsetting insurance costs should the NFIP’s authorization lapse due to political gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Cities and Towns Benefit from Proactive Solutions

Homes and Property Values Must be Preserved

  • Rhode Island properties are more susceptible to flood damage and the economic hardships incurred from ignoring the signs, which will eventually impact the entire Rhode Island housing market.
  • Proposals like H 5124/S 475 provide tax incentives for homeownership that could sustain property values for the