Governor encourages hard-hit communities to apply for federal aid

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear visited three eastern Kentucky communities on Thursday to encourage residents and business owners to apply for federal aid, following the Presidential Disaster Declaration due to severe weather, mudslides and flooding in February and March.

On April 23, President Joe Biden, at the request of Beshear, issued a Major Disaster Declaration, which made aid available for residents of Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Johnson, Lee, Magoffin, Martin, and Powell counties

It also included public assistance for non-profits and local governments in Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Cumberland, Elliott, Floyd, Franklin, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Magoffin, Marion, Martin, Mason, Morgan, Ohio, Pike, Powell, Rockcastle and Wolfe counties.

On Wednesday, the governor requested that FEMA add 26 more counties to the declaration.  FEMA will determine each additional county’s eligibility to participate over the next several weeks.

During stops in Breathitt, Floyd, and Magoffin counties, Beshear stated, “This is what governance is about: Showing up for our people with solutions.  It’s what Kentuckians expect, and it’s what we are working toward every day.  Thank you to our partners, both local and federal, for helping us rebound from these devastating storms and floods as we build the better Kentucky we want for all of our families.”

He also noted that due to the major disaster declaration, Kentuckians in the included counties may be eligible for state disaster relief in the form of sales tax refunds on purchases of building materials, up to $6,000 per building.  The materials must be used to permanently repair or replace building structures.

To learn more about how to apply for a sales tax refund, visit the Department of Revenue’s website.  Those needing more personalized assistance may call (502) 565-5170 and select Option 1 to speak to a member of the Revenue staff.

Gov. Beshear also presented more than $1.8 million in transportation grants for road resurfacing and school safety projects in the three cities.