14,000 Jobless Coloradans Expected to Lose Unemployment Benefits by Year's End
Fiscally-Responsible Measure Would Ensure Colorado's Unemployed Continue to Get Benefits They Need
Bill Also Extends the Homebuyer Tax Credit and Provides Business Tax Relief
Following a push to ensure that the Senate's extension of unemployment benefits includes Coloradans, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, U.S. Senators for Colorado, today announced Senate passage of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009. The legislation, which they cosponsored, would provide relief to jobless workers by extending unemployment insurance for the nearly 14,000 jobless Coloradans who will exhaust their benefits by year's end. It also extends the homebuyer tax credit and provides important tax relief for Colorado families and small businesses.
The legislation is fully offset.
"This bill will extend a critical lifeline to the 14,000 jobless Coloradans whose benefits would have been cut if we didn't get this extension passed," Bennet said. "It also provides a much-needed boost to our struggling real estate market at a time when Colorado's families and economy need it most."
"Coloradans are still struggling to get back on their feet in this economic recession," Senator Udall said. "Today, we're offering needed support for families and small business owners that will help keep the economy on the road to recovery at the same time. Not only does this bill extend help so that Coloradans who are looking for a job can keep paying the bills, it fuels the housing market and business and industry as well."
The legislation, as passed, would extend unemployment insurance by up to 14 additional weeks for unemployed workers hit hardest by the recession. Economists estimate that an extension would also provide a boost to our economic recovery - projecting that every $1 spent on unemployment benefits has been found to generate $2.15 in new demand.
The bill also extends the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit for individuals who enter into housing contracts by the end of April. The current credit is set to expire at the end of this month. The bill also creates a new, $6,500 tax credit for existing homeowners. The homeowners must have lived in their current home for at least five years. The legislation raises the income cap for the credit to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples. The bill also gives military personnel and foreign service employees an additional year to use the credit if they served outside of the United States for at least 90 days in 2009 or 2010.
Finally, the legislation includes tax relief for struggling businesses. Specifically, the legislation allows unprofitable businesses to apply their 2008 or 2009 operating losses to the previous five years. Under the current law, most businesses can only apply their losses to the previous two years. By reducing taxable profits in earlier years, businesses would be entitled to a refund, providing them more capital to invest and grow in this difficult economy. Senator Bennet cosponsored a similar bill earlier this year.