In total, Congress has enacted more than $800 billion in tax cuts, with another $285 billion making their way through Congress. Recently passed health care reform legislation contained $40 billion in tax credits for 4 million small businesses to offer health care coverage to their employees. Additionally, more than one-third of the Recovery Act, which has created or saved thousands of jobs in our community, was made up of tax cuts. Much of this tax relief is immediate with more than half of them already in the hands of our families and businesses.
The Recovery Act contains 25 different tax cuts for Americans, including the Making Work Pay Tax Cut. Included in this list were incentives to spur economic development by encouraging Americans to buy a home, purchase a car, or send a child to college. These tax cuts have resulted in tax refunds increasing by an average of 10 percent, pushing the average refund up to a record $3,000 per taxpayer.
Over the past year, Congress has enacted job-creating tax incentives to spur hiring of unemployed Americans, strengthen small businesses with tax cuts, and make the purchase of quality insurance more affordable. I believe these targeted tax cuts are the right way to pull ourselves out of the recession and put Upstate New Yorkers who are currently between jobs back to work.