Earlier today, I noted the various tax provisions to be included in the Senate’s version of an economic stimulus package. The AP is now out with a summary of the major spending items within the bill, including a more detailed look at some of the tax breaks. All of this is being crafted mostly be Senate Democrats and Obama officials.
Here are some key provisions, taken directly from the AP article:
- Seniors, disabled and veterans — $300 payments to Social Security beneficiaries, and $300 payment under the Supplemental Security income program for elderly and disabled people living in poverty. Veterans receiving disability or pension payments would also receive $300. The cash payments are one time only.
- Individuals — $500-per-worker, $1,000-per-couple tax cut for two years, costing about $142 billion; greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for the working poor; expanding the earned-income tax credit to include families with three children; a $2,500 college tuition tax credit; $7,500 tax credit for middle-income, first-time home buyers who purchase homes in the first half of 2009; temporarily suspends taxation of unemployment benefits.
- Businesses — An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two; bonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipment; a doubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchases.
- Energy — $31 billion in tax credits to boost renewable energy production and promote energy efficiency, including making it easier for money-losing companies to benefit from energy tax credits. Makes tax credits for energy-efficient homes more generous.
- Aid to the poor and unemployed — $40 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increase them by $25 a week and provide them to part-time and other workers.
- Health care — $27 billion to subsidize health care insurance for the unemployed and provide coverage through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid.
- Infrastructure — About $140 billion, including $27 billion for road and bridge construction and repair; $20 billion to repair and renovate school and university buildings; $9 billion for improved access to broadband; and $1.4 billion for western water projects.
- Education — Almost $100 billion, including $77 billion in grants to states for special education, local school districts, and a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant.
Most of these provisions are expected to expire in roughly two years.
Politico notes that the “battle begins in the Senate” next Tuesday, when the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees are “slated for markups” of the package.