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Governor issues statewide emergency disaster declaration

MONTPELIER — As a result of severe wind and flooding, Gov. Jim Douglas Tuesday declared a state of emergency for all 14 counties of Vermont.

The order allows the state to expedite the arrival of utility crews from other states and Canadian provinces to assist with restoring power. It will also form the basis for an application for federal disaster relief funding.

“As a result of excessive rainfall and heavy snow, combined with excessive winds from the April Nor’easter … that caused flooding and extensive utility damage that is considered ongoing at this time due to extended power outages, road damage and damage to public and private property throughout the State, I hereby declare a State of Emergency for the State of Vermont,” the order reads.

“I further order and direct the activation of the Vermont Emergency Operations Plan and authorize the use of state resources to alleviate hardship and suffering of citizens and communities impacted by the storm and resulting damage and power outages,” Douglas added.

Douglas is also urging Vermonters to continue to use caution, assist neighbors with special needs, avoid downed power lines, and report outages to their utility company.

People with questions or concerns can call Vermont Emergency Management at (800) 347-0488.

Tax filing deadline extended due to snowstorm

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Taxes announced taxpayers have until midnight April 19 to file their Vermont tax returns.

This extension is being granted because major power outages and poor traveling conditions have made it difficult, if not impossible, for some taxpayers and tax professionals to meet the April 17 filing deadline.

Vermont tax returns filed by April 19 will be considered filed on time and no late filing or late payment charges added. The April 19 date also applies to the 2007 declaration of Vermont homestead and 2007 property tax adjustment claim.

"The storm continues to affect taxpayer and practitioners so we are extending the due date to file until midnight April 19," said Tax Commissioner Tom Pelham.

E-filed returns transmitted by the April 19 extended due date will be accepted as timely.

If the software program has a "disaster" feature, taxpayers can use this feature to identify the return. Taxpayers filing paper returns on the extended April 19 due date need to write "APRIL 16TH STORM" on the envelope.

Posted April 18, 2007

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