Proposed bill would give tax breaks for personal storm shelters

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By April 16, 2019 at 10:14 PM CDT - Updated April 17 at 4:52 AM

The average personal storm shelter can cost as much as $6,000. Stephen Swalley says proposed legislation to help with the cost is a good idea.

“You know, we see so many people that have, they can’t break out another $5,000, you know, they just don’t have it,” says Swalley.

Swalley owns Vulcan Storm Shelters. Lawmakers are considering a bill that would give income tax credits for building or installing a shelter on your land. The credit would provide for one third of the total cost and could be used each year for three years, ultimately covering the entire cost of the shelter.

The tornadoes that ripped through Lee County in March killed 23 people, most of whom lived in manufactured homes. And it’s usually after something like that, people start to think.

“And it’s something that you can’t take lightly anymore,” says State Representative Pebblin Warren. "When you see what happened, the devastation that happened in Beauregard, how those homes were just ripped to pieces, roofs were just taken off houses, it makes you get serious about what’s going on and about your personal safety,” says Warren.

There are several requirements when it comes to being eligible.

“Engineering has to be stamped, the site location must be approved, flood control, not in a flood zone, the installer must be a certified installer,” says Swalley.

But many say it’s worth the investment. Warren applauds Representative Joe Lovvorn who introduced the bill last week.

“I said Joe, I said that’s a great idea. I said we’ve given enough money away for other things, we need to start giving money for our lives and the safety of all the citizens of Alabama,” says Warren.

Warren also says there could be a booming business that rises from this bill, creating more jobs.

You can view the bill by clicking here.

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