WASHINGTON, DC – November 6, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5) voted for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act to provide Connecticut families hit hardest by the recession a 14 week extension of unemployment benefits. And to strengthen Connecticut’s housing market, the bill includes an extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit through next spring, expands eligibility for the homebuyer credit, and provides housing tax relief for Connecticut’s military families. This legislation will not add to the deficit, and President Obama is expected to sign it quickly.
“In this tough economy, there are a lot of people out of work who are doing everything they can to find a new job, but while they are unemployed we need to do everything we can to make sure they can put food on the table and keep the heat on this winter,” said Murphy.
When the House of Representatives first considered an unemployment benefits extension bill in September, Murphy was one of a few in Congress to vote against it because it would not have benefited Connecticut. But, the Senate made changes to the legislation that would grant Connecticut an additional 14 weeks of coverage, which Murphy supports given the state’s 8.4% unemployment rate.
“If you don’t have a job, you don’t have a job, no matter what state you live in. People are hurting here, especially in urban areas like Waterbury and Meriden. So I’m pleased that we are now addressing the nationwide unemployment problem, and not picking and choosing who gets help,” said Murphy.
The bill includes an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit through April 30, 2010, phasing out for individuals with income above $125,000 and for joint filers with income above $225,000. And it expands the tax credit to a new pool of homebuyers, providing a $6,500 credit to new purchasers who have lived in their current residence for five years or more.
“Extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit is another way to grow our economy and put it back on sound footing,” said Murphy.
The bill also helps military families struggling to make mortgage payments by making those payments tax-exempt and extends for one year, to April 31, 2011, the deadline for taking advantage the first-time homebuyer credit for qualifying service members, so that certain service members stationed overseas can take advantage of the credit when they return.
To help Connecticut businesses in this recession, this bill also allows U.S. companies to carry back losses incurred in either 2008 or 2009 against income earned in any of the five prior years
Contact: Kristen Bossi