The U.S. Senate today passed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act -- legislation to cut taxes for businesses that hire new workers, invest in infrastructure projects and reduce financial burdens on small businesses to put more Americans back to work starting right now.
"No one is feeling the burden of this economic downturn like New York families," Senator Gillibrand said. "After months of continued job loss, it's time to do whatever it takes to put New Yorkers back to work and help families survive. The legislation we passed today cuts taxes for businesses when they make new hires, cuts costs for small businesses and gives states and local governments the resources they need to continue updating our infrastructure, creating construction jobs and supporting future economic growth. It's commonsense legislation that makes smart, targeted investments to create jobs right now and continue rebuilding our economy for the long term."
Similar to legislation that Senator Gillibrand wrote, the HIRE Act includes tax cuts for businesses when they make new hires. Giving businesses incentives to hire new employees right now is one of the fastest, most effective measures we can take to create a large amount of jobs in a short period of time, instead of waiting for the economy to recover, and prolonging chronic unemployment.
Despite making gains in the housing and financial markets over the last year to pull our economy back from the brink, job numbers are historically the last part of the economy to recover from a recession.
To put more Americans back to work starting right now, the Senate's HIRE Act would:
* Create new tax incentives for businesses to hire unemployed workers
The legislation provides firms who hire a worker who has been unemployed for more than 60 days a break on the firm's Social Security payroll taxes until the end of the year, as well as a $1,000 general tax credit for firms who maintain an employee for more than one year.
* Cut costs for small businesses
This proposal in the legislation would help small businesses grow and hire more workers by allowing them to write off more of their expenditures. Specifically, the HIRE Act would extend a provision in the Recovery Act that allows small businesses to deduct up to $250,000 of the cost of qualifying property in the year it is purchased, rather than waiting to recover their costs through depreciation deductions over a number of years.
* Extend transportation programs to rebuild aging infrastructure, save existing jobs
The legislation includes a fully-funded extension of the current transportation authorization through the end of the year. Currently, New York was receiving 70 cents on the dollar for federal transportation funding, severely hindering the state's ability to move forward with numerous infrastructure projects. The construction sector has been severely hindered because of the economic recession. Unemployment in construction trades is above 22 percent nationwide, and in some parts of New York, is upwards of 35 percent. With this continuity in funding, New York State will have the ability to take up longer-term commitments as Congress moves forward with the development of a multi-year transportation authorization bill later this year.
* Expand the Build America Bonds program
The Build America Bonds program allows local governments to sell tax-discounted bonds to fund investments in roads, sewer and other infrastructure projects and help manage local tax bills. Expanding it will allow state and local governments to finance more infrastructure projects and put people back to work.