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Senator Casey Urges IRS to Exempt Norfolk Southern Derailment Victims from Taxation

On April 16, 2024, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) directed a letter to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Danny Werfel and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, advocating for the exemption of families affected by the Norfolk Southern derailment from taxation on reimbursements for essential post-disaster necessities. The letter stemmed from Casey’s previous engagement with Werfel during an April 16 Senate Committee on Finance hearing, where he secured a commitment from Commissioner Werfel regarding tax relief for the disaster’s victims.

The Norfolk Southern train derailment, which occurred on February 3, 2023, near Darlington Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, prompted Casey’s ongoing efforts to ensure adequate support for those impacted. The derailment, involving hazardous materials and subsequent fires, led to the evacuation of residents in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. Norfolk Southern’s response, including a vent-and-burn operation and the establishment of a Family Assistance Center in New Waterford, Ohio, placed significant burdens on affected individuals and families.

In response to the upheaval caused by the derailment, Norfolk Southern provided reimbursements to affected families for expenses related to shelter, food, and clothing. However, these reimbursements were classified as income by the IRS, subjecting recipients to taxation. Senator Casey urged the Department of the Treasury and the IRS to exercise their authority under Section §139 of the Internal Revenue Code, recognizing the catastrophic nature of the Norfolk Southern accident and exempting the reimbursements from taxation.

Casey’s advocacy extends beyond tax relief. He has consistently pressured Norfolk Southern to fulfill its obligations to impacted communities, securing $1.2 million in funding for Darlington Township. Furthermore, Casey has championed legislation aimed at enhancing railway safety and supporting emergency responders in the event of future disasters.

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Patricia M Campbell 1932-2024

Pat graduated from Fannett Township High School in 1950 and received her BA in Education from, known then as, Shippensburg State Teachers College. .

James Patrick McNally III 1947-2024

James was known for his dedication and excellence in his professional career, where he made lasting contributions and built strong relationships with his colleagues.

Brenda Jackson Liu 1945-2024

Upon retirement, Brenda worked as a part-time nurse at the Migrant Health in Gettysburg. During this time she traveled to migrant camps all over Pennsylvania.

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