Senate Finance Committee Passes Tax Extender Package
Beginning on July 21, the Senate Finance committee began their process of a “markup” of a tax extenders bill. Recall that WOTC – a key element of the tax extenders, has been in hiatus since January 1, 2015. The text of the markup proposal can be found here. A markup is an important step in the creation of new legislation as it allows legislators, in this case the Senate Finance committee, to officially review and offer amendments to, legislation being considered. Indeed, On July 20, specific amendments were proposed relating directly to WOTC. Senators Portman, Cardin, Brown and Menendez have filed amendments to make WOTC permanent and to expand it to long-term unemployed:
The amendment aims to counter the stigma that can often attach to those individuals who have been out of work for a long time by giving employers an incentive to hire these individuals. In general, a long-term unemployed individual would be an individual who has exhausted his or her UI benefits. Encouraging the employment of these individuals would prevent them from taking further government assistance. Studies on the recently expired Work Opportunity Tax Credit have shown that for every WOTC hire, the federal government saves approximately $17,000 (net of WOTC expenditures) by encouraging the hiring of hard-to-employ individuals. This amendment was incorporated into the modified Chairman’s mark during Committee consideration of the EXPIRE Act in 2014.
In addition, Senator Toomey offered an amendment to increase the Veterans credit for WOTC. Text of the proposed amendments can be found here.
The extenders package passed The Senate Finance Committee with everyone but Senator Enzi voting yes. Senator Portman discussed the need to make WOTC and other provisions permanent and the need to expand WOTC to include the long-term unemployed. Senator Cardin spoke up in support of Mr. Portman – referring to the WOTC renewal and extension amendment.
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