(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) voted for final passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, a bill that includes important tax incentives to encourage Washington state small businesses to hire new workers, help for local governments to finance construction projects, and an extension of federal surface transportation programs that employ thousands of Washington workers. The bill, which has now been passed by both houses of Congress, is now headed to the President for his signature. It was passed by the Senate today by a vote of 68-29.
“This bill puts money back into the pockets of small business owners so that they can expand and hire Washington workers,” said Senator Murray. “It gives them an incentive to put the ‘help wanted’ sign up once again. It also makes a critical investment in building roads and highways to help construction and manufacturing workers who have been hit so hard by this recession. This is a step in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do to get our businesses hiring, our economy growing, and our workers back on the job.”
The bill passed today takes steps to help spur Washington state job creation by:
PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY FOR HIRING UNEMPLOYED WASHINGTON WORKERS · Providing Washington small businesses with an exemption from Social Security payroll taxes they owe for every worker hired in 2010 who has been unemployed for at least 60 days that earns less than $106,800 a year.
TAX INCENTIVE TO HELP WASHINGTON BUSINESSES MAKE MAJOR PURCHASES, EXPAND · Allowing Washington small businesses to write-off major purchases of up to $250,000 up-front rather than waiting to recover their costs through depreciation deductions over a number of years.
LOW COST FINANCING FOR WASHINGTON MUNICIPALITIES TO PURSUE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS · Allowing Washington state municipalities and the state to issue additional Build America Bonds which will help them to attract new and additional investments in local construction and job-creating projects. Build America Bonds provide much-needed funding for state and local governments at lower borrowing costs. This will enable local governments throughout Washington to pursue necessary capital projects, such as work on public buildings, courthouses, schools, roads, transportation infrastructure, government hospitals, public safety facilities and equipment, water and sewer.
A MAJOR FEDERAL INVESTMENT IN WASHINGTON ROAD, HIGHWAY, AND TRANSIT PROJECTS · Extending the latest authorization of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU) through the end of 2010. SAFETEA-LU provides Washington state with hundreds of millions in direct and grant funding to help fund many major surface transportation projects. Without this extension Washington state would face significant job losses.