North-Central Penn. Officials: Higher Flood Insurance Rates Will Bankrupt Homeowners

December 13, 2013

Residents and officials in flood-prone north-central Pennsylvania are warning that a new federal law ending subsidized federal flood insurance rates in certain areas will bankrupt homeowners, drive down property values and deplete tax bases.

They testified during a Wednesday hearing in Williamsport held by Lycoming County’s planning and development department.

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette reports that Todd Arthur says coverage for his business property in Muncy is jumping from $1,200 to $13,400 a year.

Arthur, a real estate appraiser, also says homeowners are having a hard time selling and flood-plain properties are losing value.

The flood insurance program has long offered below-cost rates for homeowners in flood zones and is about $25 billion in debt since its creation in 1968. Some members of Congress are trying to undo the changes approved last year.

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