Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today voted in favor of a financial rescue package that extends tax relief for Nevada families, encourages renewable energy development and raises protections on bank accounts insured by the FDIC.
"The bill I voted for today is for seniors, Valley businesses, workers on the strip and those building our new homes and new hotel rooms, for teachers and students, soccer moms and dads and police and firefighters across southern Nevada," Berkley said.
"The economic crisis that has hit Las Vegas and communities nationwide did not appear overnight and it will not be fixed in a day even with the passage of this legislation," said Berkley. "But I voted for this bill because it will help Las Vegas families save by extending the sales tax deduction and child care credit, aid small businesses and prevent 130,000 Nevadans from being hit with the alternative minimum tax."
"We also more than double the limit on FDIC insurance to protect college savings, retirement nest eggs and the payrolls of local businesses from being lost if another bank shuts its doors," Berkley said.
Also included in the bill are provisions extending the college tuition deduction, the R&D tax credit for businesses and a deduction that provides 3.4 million teachers with money to pay for classroom expenses, as well as strong incentives to encourage the use and production of clean energy and increased conservation.
"This bill encourages new investments in renewable energy that will attract more solar power production and jobs to southern Nevada. By harnessing the sun, wind and other forms of clean power we can lower costs for families and increase America's energy independence," Berkley said.
Green energy provisions in the bill include: extension of the investment tax credit for solar energy, extension of the production tax credit for geothermal and wind energy, extension and significant expansion of the residential solar tax credit, a $2,500 tax credit toward the purchase of fuel-efficient, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and incentives for more energy conservation in residences and commercial buildings.
The bill also helps Valley homeowners struggling with higher loan payments and declining home values.
"Changes put in place under this bill will also give the government additional tools to help homeowners renegotiate their mortgages so that more Nevadans can keep their homes in these hard times," said Berkley. "And up to 30 million homeowners nationwide will be eligible for a new $1,000 property tax deduction as a result of this plan, which will help stretch their dollars."
The financial rescue package included in the legislation is designed to ease the crisis in the nation's credit market which is threatening to push businesses of all sizes closer to the brink of closing their doors and to add to growing job losses at a time when Nevada's unemployment rate is predicted to climb to more han 8% in coming months.
"Oversight rules put in place by this package will protect the investment we are making and will help restore the availability of credit for everything from car loans, to charge cards, to businesses expenses and home mortgages -- which in turn will help safeguard retiree pensions," Berkley said.
"Failure to act could further damage our already fragile economy by making it harder for local consumers to get new credit and by making it harder for businesses to sell their goods and services and keep their employees on the payroll," said Berkley.