U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today praised President Obama for signing the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2009 that she co-sponsored, into law. The new law will extend long-term unemployment benefits in Michigan by 20 weeks. It will also provide tax refunds to businesses that have been hit by the economic recession, and extends and expands the successful first-time homebuyer tax credit.
"Michigan workers who are struggling as they search and train for new jobs will finally receive the extra support they need," said Stabenow. "I am pleased that President Obama signed this extension into law immediately, which will help families put food on the table and pay their heating bills. This law will also help Michigan businesses reinvest and expand their business in these tough economic times and help more families make the dream of homeownership a reality."
In Michigan, the state's unemployment rate stands at 15.3%. Without this extension, over 90,000 people would have exhausted their unemployment insurance benefits by the end of the year. By the end of 2009, it is expected that 310,000 jobs will have been lost in the state by the end of the year. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, for every $1 spent on unemployment benefits, the economy is stimulated by $2.15.
For more details on unemployment benefits, please visit http://www.michigan.gov/uia
This new law also includes:
Tax Refunds for Struggling Businesses- Senator Stabenow has been a champion for Michigan businesses, many of whom have been unable to make a profit during this economic recession. Earlier this year, she cosponsored a provision in the recovery package to provide tax refunds to help small businesses. The law signed today expands that provision, providing a tax refund to all businesses that were once profitable but have experienced losses in 2008 or 2009. Making these tax refunds available to businesses is critical to stimulating key economic sectors in Michigan and around the country.
Homebuyer Tax Credit- Senator Stabenow has also been a long-time champion of tax credits for individuals and families trying to buy a home. This law extends the successful $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit until June 30, 2010. It also creates a new $6,500 credit for homebuyers who have lived in their current residence for the last five years or more. The credit would begin to phase out at $125,000 in adjusted gross income per person, or $225,000 per couple, and the sale price of a new home could not exceed $800,000. Homebuyers would have to have a contract in hand by April 30, 2010, with another 60 days to close on the sale to qualify.