Czech government exempts entrepreneurs, firms from tax after flooding
PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech finance ministry will exempt entrepreneurs and companies hit by this week's floods from paying some income tax, it said on Friday.
The largest floods in over a decade swept through the central European country after days of heavy rain, killing 10 people. Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Poland have also been hit.
The ministry said it would pardon 2013 taxes on personal or corporate income for the self-employed and companies up to the amount of flood damage they suffered.
Several chemical plants and power stations have been damaged or had to shut down due to the floods, and a large number of small businesses were hit. The ministry gave no estimate of how much the pardoned taxes would be worth.
The government has already pledged to free up over 200 million euros ($263.89 million) for flood damage repairs.
Prime Minister Petr Necas said on Friday total damage could reach a double-digit figure in billions of crowns.
The country's insurance industry association said on Thursday that insured damage was estimated at 7.5 billion crowns ($384.48 million).
Water levels have been receding on all rivers but many of the 19,000 people who had to be evacuated have not been able to return to their homes to survey the damage.
Authorities have been leaving flood barriers in place as a precaution because of forecasts of more rain in the coming days.
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka)