Washington, DC – November 5, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3) voted to extend relief to unemployed workers, local real estate markets, and provide much-needed help to businesses and families. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act extends unemployment benefits, the homebuyers’ tax credit, and tax relief for military families and businesses. Earlier this week, Rep. Dahlkemper spoke out on the House floor in support of the homebuyer tax credit extension.
“Our workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own as a result of this economic downturn will continue to receive unemployment insurance for an additional 20 weeks. This is another crucial step to provide immediate relief to struggling individuals and families in Western Pennsylvania who have lost, or are on the verge of losing, their unemployment benefits,” Rep. Dahlkemper said. “This bill also extends the first-time homebuyer tax credit, a provision I strongly support to help our local real estate markets. The tax credit has already helped hundreds of people reach the dream of homeownership in Western Pennsylvania.”
The extension is fully paid for and will provide immediate, effective relief to the local economy. The Congressional Budget Office has cited unemployment benefits as one of the most cost-effective forms of economic stimulus, and every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.63 in new demand, according to Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi.
Workers in Pennsylvania who have exhausted or will soon exhaust their benefits will be eligible for a total of 20 additional weeks of emergency unemployment compensation. The legislation will provide families in all states with 14 weeks of additional benefits, and six more weeks and the 27 states with the highest unemployment rates—including Pennsylvania.
“This legislation takes important, immediate steps to help stabilize our small businesses and strengthen our housing market,” said Rep. Dahlkemper. “These efforts are crucial to growing our economy and returning our communities to prosperity. It also includes an important provision to help military families who are struggling to keep their homes. This bill is part of our ongoing commitment to support our Armed Forces and their families.”
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 breathe life back into American businesses suffering from huge losses, this bill allows U.S. companies to carry back losses incurred in either 2008 or 2009 against income earned in any of the five prior years. The bill will now go to President Obama to be signed into law.