WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2013) – Efforts to delay reform of the National Flood Insurance Program must be resisted to protect taxpayers, the R Street Institute and 15 other conservative, libertarian and taxpayer groups write in a letter to every member of Congress.

As called for under the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, the NFIP is set to transition some of the roughly 1.1 million participants currently receiving premium subsidies to risk-based rates. The groups argue this change “was a necessary improvement to a troubled program in massive debt to taxpayers.”

“NFIP is $28 billion in debt to taxpayers and without the improvements passed last year, this number will only continue to rise,” the groups write. “Given the grueling battle Congress just held over the nation’s debt ceiling, it is odd that some are pushing an extension of subsidies that would cause NFIP to more quickly hit its own borrowing cap of just over $30 billion.”

Moreover, the groups point out that existing subsidies disproportionately benefit wealthier homeowners, noting that among 29 percent of properties are in counties among the top 10 percent in income and 29 percent are in counties in the top 10 percent in home values.

“Passage of Biggert-Waters last year was a step in the right direction of a freer flood insurance market that is not built on payouts from taxpayers,” the groups write. “Gutting that reform by eliminating its central component of phased-out subsidies for would undo that progress and put taxpayers on the hook for billions more in NFIP costs.”

In addition to R Street, other signatories include representatives of the American Conservative Union, American Consumer Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth, Competitive Enterprise Institute, ConservAmerica, Cost of Government Center, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action for America, Less Government, Let Freedom Ring, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Text of the full letter can be found here:


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