FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 5, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN VOTES TO REDUCE TAXES AND BOOST NEW HOME SALES
(WASHINGTON, DC) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. continued to take action to put our economy on the road to recovery. Today, Kagen voted to extend the homebuyers’ tax credit to almost everyone, reduce taxes for military families, and extend unemployment benefits for the unemployed.
The bill also included a provision Kagen co-wrote to extend the first-time homebuyers tax credit for one year for members of the Armed Forces serving overseas.
“This bill helps people by stimulating home sales and helps our veterans build a better future for themselves when they return,” said Kagen. “We are extending relief to millions of workers, families, and businesses nationwide – taking the bold actions necessary to put our economy on the road to recovery. Everyone knows this will take time, but we are headed in the right direction.”
The extension is fully paid for and will provide immediate help to the local economy. The Congressional Budget Office has cited unemployment benefits as one of the most cost-effective forms of stimulating the economy. 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 – where it is most difficult for workers to find employment. Workers in these high unemployment states who have exhausted or will soon exhaust their benefits will be eligible for a total of 20 additional weeks of emergency unemployment compensation.
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.
Kagen authored the extension for our veterans with Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind. Congressman Kagen was inspired to write this legislation in April after hearing from Jerry Kavanaugh of Kaukauna. Jerry is the father of Dave Kavanaugh, who is a member of the National Guard serving in Southern Iraq with the 32nd Infantry Combat Brigade out of Appleton. Dave wants to be able to purchase a new home for his family when he returns from his deployment, but under current law, he will not qualify for the tax credit when he returns home next spring. The $8,000 non-refundable tax credit will help Dave, and thousands of other men and women serving overseas, buy their first homes.
The U.S. Senate has approved this legislation yesterday, and it will now go to President Obama for his signature.