Mar 24, 2014 7:21 PM by Associated Press
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Thousands of Arizona home and business owners whose properties lie in flood plains are facing steep, annual increases in insurance premiums.
The federal government has subsidized flood insurance for properties built before flood zones were outlined. But the premiums collected haven't covered the payouts, sending the National Flood Insurance Program $24 billion in debt.
Instead of immediate, dramatic hikes, the rates will be phased in gradually until they reflect the true risk of flooding. That was part of a relief bill signed Friday by President Barack Obama.
More than 4,600 Arizona homeowners will see increases of up to 18 percent annually. Another 1,370 owners of businesses and second homes will see yearly increases of 25 percent.
Real estate agent Rosalie Butler in Bisbee says that will hurt home buyers.