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Abandon the flood plains

To the editor

— One way to encourage people to resettle from flood plains is to immediately prohibit new development in flood plains and start eliminating the subsidies for existing real estate in flood plains on a 5-year or 10-year schedule, such as:

  • real estate mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions from taxable incomes

  • real estate depreciation deductions from taxable incomes

  • the $500,000 capital gains exclusion

  • prohibit private and government flood insurance

  • prohibit private and government mortgages

  • prohibit government funding for upgrading existing development; repair would still be allowed.

These measures would depopulate the parts of Florida, the U.S. East Coast and the Mexican Gulf that are too low-lying and that, by hindsight, should never have been developed. Any further development in those flood-prone areas should not be allowed.

Note: Most of the $50 billion damage of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012 would have been avoided had these measures been in effect.

Willem Post

Woodstock

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