Buffer zone for flood insurance bills
YARDLEY Under the flood-insurance bill President Obama signed Friday, temporary relief will come to as many as 2,300 flood-zone property owners in the county.
The law will buffer the impact of dramatic increases in flood-insurance premiums, a change made last year in an attempt to rescue the National Flood Insurance Program, which is $24 billion in debt.
The rescue phases out subsidized "grandfathered" rates for flood-insurance premiums in older houses built in flood zones. The new law softens the blow, allowing homeowners to pass along their subsidized rates when they sell. Premiums for homeowners cannot rise by more than 15 percent a year; for owners of rentals, vacation homes, and businesses, the cap is 25 percent.
Lawmakers have said the new law isn't a permanent fix and plan to come up with a solution that helps homeowners and other taxpayers, who ultimately may have to absorb the debt.
For information on a specific property, visit www.floodsmart.gov. - Ben Finley