As flood insurance premiums go skyward due to recently implemented federal legislation, state lawmakers are just beginning to learn how they might be able to help.
A Lycoming County planner suggested state lawmakers create a loan program to help homeowners deal with the rising costs of living in a floodplain.
Beyond that, Republican Sen. Pat Vance of Cumberland County notes little can be done to change federal policy contributing to rising rates.
"I think we probably haven’t been as vocal to our federal representatives as perhaps we should," Vance said. "For instance, in North Carolina, which I’m familiar with, there’s an all-out push in North Carolina to have every citizen there contact their federal representatives. And I think we take it too much for granted here sometimes that it doesn’t bother us, we don’t live near water."
A 2012 law designed to make property owners pay for the risk of living in high flood hazard areas has resulted in spikes in insurance premiums.
The insurance increases aren’t just onerous for property owners.
Higher premiums that lead to depressed property values will result in less tax revenue income for local governments and school districts.