WOTC and other Sandy Hiring Incentives not included in Sandy Relief Bill
On Tuesday evening, January 15th, the House of Representatives approved a $51 billion Sandy relief package. Though this bill did not include any hiring related tax credits for business in the disaster zone, earlier Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) had proposed specific hiring tax credit provisions (earlier coverage here). Recall that the Senators’ proposed measures included two hiring incentives – businesses would get a tax credit for continuing to pay employees even when the business was shut down due to the storm, and there would also be a credit for hiring new employees who lived in the core disaster area on the date of the hurricane.
This Sandy relief bill will now be voted on by the Senate in their next session immediately following the President’s inauguration. Though it is unlikely, it is now hoped that the Senate will add the hiring tax credit provisions, as proposed by Senators Schumer and Menendez, into the bill during their review and discussion prior to their vote.
Notably, the vote in the House for this bill did not follow party lines. A large group of freshman Republicans introduced an amendment to offset the cost of a portion of this bill with direct cuts to defense and domestic programs. This amendment was voted down 258-162, splitting party lines. The successful vote for the larger package received a vote of 241-180, with 179 Republicans opposed.