LoBiondo to Fight Proposed Fee Increases on Flood Insurance Policyholders
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a region still recovering from Superstorm Sandy and increases in flood insurance premiums, U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today vowed to fight the Trump Administration’s proposal to increase fees on policyholders.
“South Jersey families and businesses are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, appealing unjustified FEMA flood maps and claims decisions, and adjusting to a regional economy not fully recovered – we cannot and should not ask them to take on more of a financial burden,” said LoBiondo. “The Administration’s budget proposal is but an initial offer in the annual appropriations process. I resoundingly reject this specific provision and will work closely and tirelessly with my colleagues representing coastal communities as the process of funding agencies and reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program moves forward.”
Page 24 of the President’s budget proposal states: “Restructures selected user fees for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure that the cost of Government services is not subsidized by taxpayers who do not directly benefit from those programs. The Budget proposes to raise the Passenger Security Fee to recover 75 percent of the cost of TSA aviation security operations. The Budget proposes eliminating the discretionary appropriation for the NFIP’s Flood Hazard Mapping Program, a savings of $190 million, to instead explore other more effective and fair means of funding flood mapping efforts.”
Currently the NFIP’s Flood Hazard Mapping Program is funded by both general taxpayer money through the annual Homeland Security Appropriations and a Federal Policy Fee on NFIP policyholder premiums. The program establishes the flood map zones for which flood insurance premiums are based. By eliminating the $190 million in Homeland Security appropriations, the financial burden shifts solely to the NFIP policyholder fees.
The National Flood Insurance Program will need to be reauthorized by Congress by September 30, 2017. LoBiondo is currently involved in a working group of fellow coastal lawmakers to ensure their priorities are included in the reauthorization. The working group has met with House Republican Leadership.