WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 5, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. House of Representatives today gave final approval to a bill backed by Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) that would extend unemployment benefits, the homebuyers’ tax credit, and the tax relief for military families and businesses.
“This is another crucial step to provide immediate relief to South Carolinians who have lost their unemployment benefits,” said Spratt. “The families who receive these benefits will be putting money right back into the economy – buying groceries and gas, and making their mortgage payments on time.”
Spratt said the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act will provide immediate assistance, extending relief to millions of workers, families, and businesses nationwide.
The Congressional Budget Office has cited unemployment benefits as one of the most cost-effective forms of economic stimulus. Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.64 in new demand, according to Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi.
The legislation will provide families in all states with 14 weeks of additional benefits, and six more weeks to the 27 states with the highest unemployment rates – including South Carolina – where it is most difficult for workers to find employment. Workers in South Carolina who have exhausted or will soon exhaust their benefits will be eligible for a total of 20 additional weeks of emergency unemployment compensation.
“This legislation takes important, immediate steps to help stabilize our small businesses and strengthen our housing market,” said Spratt. “These efforts are crucial to growing our economy and putting it back on sound footing.”
The bill includes an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit through April 30, 2010, and provides a $6,500 credit to new purchasers who have lived in their current residence for five years or more. It also helps military families struggling to make mortgage payments by making those payments tax-exempt.
To help businesses suffering from huge losses, the bill allows companies to carry back losses incurred in either 2008 or 2009 against income earned in any of the five prior years.
“While we continue working to turn our economy around, this extension will provide much-needed relief to millions of unemployed Americans as they struggle to find work,” said Spratt.