Legislation also extends homebuyer credit, provides business tax relief
Washington D.C. – November 6, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The House of Representatives today passed legislation which extends unemployment insurance up to 20 weeks for jobless workers who have exhausted their previous extensions. Additionally, the legislation extends and expands the availability of the homebuyer tax credit and provides tax relief for businesses hard hit by the recession. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act passed by a vote of 403 to 12. The President is expected to sign the measure into law.
“The action today responds to the needs of 100,000 in Michigan and one million people nationwide who have exhausted their benefits or will have exhausted them by the end of the year,” said Rep. Levin. “With six people competing for every available job, unemployed workers need insurance to feed their families and pay their bills.”
The legislation extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program by providing families in all states with 14 weeks of additional benefits and six more weeks to states with high unemployment rates, such as Michigan. Without action, more than 1 million people nationwide, and 99,000 in Michigan, will have exhausted the previous unemployment benefits extensions before the end of the year. In Michigan, an estimated 50,000 unemployed workers have already exhausted the previous extensions.
The bill includes an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit through April 30, 2010 and also provides a $6,500 credit to homebuyers who have lived in their current residence for five years or more. Further, the measure allows U.S. companies to carry back losses incurred in either 2008 or 2009 against income earned in any of the five prior years, providing cash to make investments and retain employees at a time when many face difficulty accessing credit.
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is currently set to expire at the end of the year. Congress is expected to take up legislation to push back the expiration date in the near future.
“Now that we have acted on the extension, we must quickly take up legislation to continue the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program itself, otherwise millions will be left without this important insurance come January,” concluded Rep. Levin.
Extending unemployment benefits provides immediate economic benefit to the local economy as every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.63 in economic activity, according to Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi.