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Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005

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The "Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005" was passed by Congress on Dec. 16, 2005, and signed into law on Dec. 22, becoming Public Law No. 109-135.


Press release from the House Committee on Ways and Means:

Friday, December 16, 2005

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by unanimous consent the House-Senate compromise for H.R. 4440, the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005.

H.R. 4440, originally introduced by Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA), would provide tax relief for the recovery of the regions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The bill would also provide charitable giving incentives and tax relief to families and individuals affected by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma. This is similar to the relief already provided to the victims of Hurricane Katrina when Congress passed the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act (P.L. 109-73).

"This agreement represents the continued commitment by Congress to provide relief to the hurricane-affected regions," said Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA). "I’m glad the House and Senate were able to work together and send this important recovery package to the President’s desk."

"This funding is essential to jump starting recovery efforts in the Gulf region," said Rep. McCrery, principle author of the legislation. "I look forward to the president expeditiously signing this bill into law, so that those considering investing or re-investing in the region will know there are financial incentives available to them which will make that investment more attractive."

The bill passed today also includes provisions from H.R. 4388, the Tax Revision Act of 2005, which was approved by the House last week with a vote of 423 – 0. One such provision would extend a special rule allowing military personnel the option of including their combat pay – which is tax-free – when computing their eligibility for the Earned Income Credit (EIC). Ignoring combat pay can reduce the EIC in some cases.

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