Resources for Homeowners
Federal Tax Relief
I have worked for several years to secure federal tax relief from the IRS for homeowners with crumbling foundations.
If you are a homeowner affected by crumbling foundations, and who has made repairs to your home foundation, you may be eligible for a casualty loss deduction from the IRS. The IRS has published two “Revenue Procedures” on taking a crumbling foundations casualty loss deduction.
If you have made a repair to your home’s foundation and are eligible for the casualty loss deduction, you may also be eligible to “carry back” or “carry forward” that loss. Specifically, you may be eligible for federal tax relief for up to twenty years, depending on when your repair was made and the amount spent on your repairs. To this end, with my urging, the IRS issued a clarification on taking a “Net Operating Loss”, spreading your casualty loss over many years – a win for average homeowners. Additionally, after contacting the IRS about this issue, the IRS confirmed that homeowners may take the casualty loss deduction to cover repairs that the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company, Inc. is not permitted to cover.
The first Revenue Procedure published by the IRS is available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-17-60.pdf.
The second Revenue Procedure is available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-18-14.pdf
To read the “Net Operating Loss” clarification from the IRS, click here: https://courtney.house.gov/sites/courtney.house.gov/files/IRS%20Letter.pdf
To view the IRS webinar on the casualty loss deduction and net operating losses due to crumbling foundations, click here:
I would highly recommend that you consult with a tax preparer to determine if you are eligible for the deduction or the net operating loss.
As a result of funding from the State, state legislators, municipal officials, and private sector leaders established the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company (CFSIC), or a "captive" insurance company. My staff and I continue to be in close communication with CFSIC leadership. To visit the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company’s website and apply for relief through their portal, click here: https://crumblingfoundations.org/.
It is important to note that CFSIC may not cover all expenses necessary to fix a foundation, and is capped at providing $175,000 per home. For example, CFSIC may not cover repairs or removal of landscaping features, such as gardens or walkways. To this end, I wrote to the IRS and received a response that homeowners with crumbling foundations may be able to apply for federal casualty loss deduction to certain repairs linked to fixing their crumbling foundation that are not covered by CFSIC.
For more information on legislation on the State level for crumbling foundations, please visit the Connecticut Department of Housing's crumbling foundations page at https://www.ct.gov/doh/cwp/view.asp?a=4513&Q=599270&PM=1.
The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) and the State of Connecticut continue operate a foundation testing reimbursement program, allowing eligible homeowners to receive a 100% reimbursement, up to $400, from a licensed engineer for visual testing. To receive this funding, the home must have been built after 1983 and must have been built within a 20-mile radius of the location of J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs. In addition, homeowners are eligible for a 50% testing reimbursement, up to $2,000, for core sample testing.
For more information, visit https://foundationtesting.org/.
CRCOG has a list of qualified engineers, available at: http://crcog.org/concrete-vendors/.
Additionally, I have worked closely with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to explore how funds from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) can be used to assist homeowners with crumbling foundations. In September of 2016, I received information from HUD that funds from the CDBG program may be used to assist homeowners. Specifically, CDBG funds can be used for crumbling foundations testing. A municipality that establishes a crumbling foundations with CDBG funding may cover 100% of the costs to test a foundation for pyrrhotite, up to $5,000. Since I have helped open up this avenue to homeowners, additional towns have recieved CDBG funding for pyrrhotite testing.
State Department Of Consumer Protection
To submit a complaint to the State Department of Consumer Protection, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/dcp/Trade-Practices-Division/Deteriorating-Concrete-Foundations. For additional information or questions, contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection at 1-800-842-2649 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Department of Consumer Protection has also issued a warning to homeowners to be wary of scams to repair or replace faulty concrete. I urge consumers to take precautions before making any payments or signing contracts. Click here to read the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection's brochure for homeowners.
Reassessment: The State of Connecticut passed Public Act No. 16-45 in May of 2016, which allows Connecticut residents with crumbling foundations to request a reassessment of their home's value from a licensed engineer. Call your town assessor for assistance with this process. Click here to read the law.
Some municipalities in the affected region have decided to waive local building and permitting fees associated with construction and repairs to homes with crumbling foundations. Call your town officials for further information on your town’s policies.
Schools: One elementary school in Connecticut has tested positive for pyrrhotite in the concrete used to pour the school. I have worked with my colleagues on the House Committee on Education and Labor to pass legislation out of the committee that would provide funding for K-12 schools with crumbling foundations due to pyrrhotite. As this legislation moves through the House, additional information will be posted here. To read more about crumbling foundations assistance for schools, click here.
More on Resources for Homeowners
Today, the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, Inc. (CFSIC), also known as “the captive insurance company,” released the following announcement following the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to designation CFSIC as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The full press release from the captive insurance company and CSFIC Superintendent Michael Maglaras is included below.
NORWICH, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney announced the approval of $480,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to support testing of crumbling foundations in Ellington, Stafford, and Vernon. The funding was requested by the three towns in a joint application last year as part of Connecticut’s Small Cities Program run by the state Department of Housing, which distributes the state’s portion of federal CDBG funds it receives annually.