Provisions support families, teachers, students, struggling communities, innovation
Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, announced approval of the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 in the House of Representatives. The legislation provides changes to existing tax policies and the extension of numerous tax credits.
"From working families and students to start-ups and those seeking to help rebuild Western New York, there are a good amount of provisions in this bill that Western New York can embrace," Higgins said. "It is not a perfect package. I would doubt that any member is satisfied with every provision included, but it is the best example of compromise demonstrated by Congress in quite some time."
Below are several highlights of the bill:
•Makes permanent the $1,000 Child Tax Credit.
•Permanently extends the Earned Income Tax Credit extended to working people with low to moderate income.
•Eliminates the residency requirement on ABLE accounts providing greater flexibility and options in the program that provides tax-preferred savings accounts for individuals with disabilities.
Distressed & Historic Communities:
•Extends for five years the New Markets Tax Credits, which provides incentives for development in economically distressed areas. Since the creation of NMTC in 2000, several WNY projects have benefited from the program, including: The Electric Tower, the Oak School Lofts, Ellicott Commons, the Webb Lofts, Asbury Hall, AM&A's Warehouse Lofts, 567 Exchange Street, the Innovation Center at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and, most recently, the Roswell Park Clinical Sciences Center currently under construction.
•Extends for five years the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and increases the incentive for employers to hire qualified, long-term unemployed individuals.
•Makes permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit, providing a $2,500 credit toward tuition and related college expenses.
•Permanently extends a tax deduction for school teachers on expenses up to $250 in 2016 with an increase indexed to inflation in subsequent years and an expansion to include professional development expenses.
•Permanently extends the Research & Development Tax Credit, supporting innovation and job creation across Western New York.
•Provides a two-year moratorium on the medical device excise tax. Western New York is home to more than 50 medical device companies.