The downturn in the national economy has hit Nevada particularly hard. From high unemployment and foreclosure rates to the rising costs of living, many Nevada families are struggling. I have been working hard to help get our economy back on track and prevent this situation from happening again by passing legislation that helps those currently in need, creates jobs, and provides relief to middle class families and small businesses.
Fact Sheet: How President Obama's American Jobs Act Will Help Nevada
With so many Nevadans continuing to look for work, creating and saving jobs continues to be my top priority. In September 2010, I led the Senate in passing the Small Business Jobs Act. This important legislation not only creates the economic environment important to small businesses, it provides loan assistance and tax incentives that will help them grow and put Nevadans back to work. By giving small businesses some $15 billion in immediate tax relief, incentivizing small business lending, and promoting entrepreneurship, the Small Business Jobs Act is projected to create as many as 500,000 new jobs. The Nevada Commission on Economic Development received a grant of almost $14 million as a direct result of the Small Business Jobs Act. The Commission is using these funds to promote small business lending through the Nevada Microenterprise Initiative as well as a new collateral assistance program that will help local entrepreneurs secure the loans they need to grow their business.
In August of 2010, I helped Nevada prevent teacher layoffs by passing the Education Jobs Fund. This important legislation brought $83.1 million to Nevada to protect and support the jobs of 1,400 teachers, administrators and support professionals in the state. Understanding how crucial the tourism industry is to Nevada and our Nation, I led the Senate in passing the Travel Promotion Act, which will help create 40,000 American jobs by increasing tourism from abroad. Early in 2010, I also championed the passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act), which encouraged businesses to hire unemployed workers, gives tax breaks for investments to strengthen small businesses, and invest wisely to rebuild America’s infrastructure.
In addition, I am proud to have fought to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), which has created or saved over 29,000 jobs in Nevada so far, with more to come. (Scroll down for more information on the Recovery Act.) I have also fought to bolster Nevada’s economy by extending tax cuts to small businesses and middle-class families and making investments in clean energy, along with helping to save the 12,000 jobs in the CityCenter project.
I am committed to putting people back to work and getting our economy back on the right track. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help millions of Americans find good-paying, dependable jobs.
Tax Relief for Middle Class Families
Protecting Nevada’s middle-class families is one of my top priorities, which is why I have long supported broad-based tax cuts that lower the tax burden for working families throughout Nevada. Recently, I led the Senate in passing the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act, which extended for two months the 2 percent payroll tax cut that was in place for 2011. This two-month extension gives Congress time to reach an agreement on extending the payroll tax cut for all of 2012.
In 2010, I pushed the Senate to pass the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. This important legislation continued tax relief for middle class families and included tax incentives to encourage businesses to invest and hire.
This bill was not perfect, but it helped provide the economic boost middle-class families and small businesses in Nevada and across America need. Absent this agreement, all Americans would have had their taxes increase. The benefits for working families in this legislation include lower tax rates on the income they earn, extension of the $1,000 child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, and tax credits for college expenses. Just as important, the legislation contained job-creating measures including a payroll tax cut for individuals and incentives to create clean energy jobs, energy efficient homes, and investments in renewable energy.
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 contained a number of provisions that benefit Nevada’s middle class families:
- Extends by two years the current tax rates for middle class families.
- Includes a $112 billion payroll tax reduction for workers for 2011, increasing the average Nevada workers take-home pay by $800.
- Extends the American Opportunity Tax Credit (college tuition), the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Allows businesses to deduct 100% of certain investments in the first year.
- Extends for two years the state and local sales tax deduction.
- Extends Alternative Minimum Tax relief for two years.
- Extends incentives that have been important for Nevada’s developing clean energy industry.
For more information on my tax relief efforts to help stimulate Nevada’s economy, please click here.
Unemployment compensation not only helps those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, it also helps our economy because recipients spend the cash they receive on the things they need right away. This is why I have fought several times since 2009 to provide Nevadans with extended unemployment benefits. The Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act and later the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act extended federal unemployment benefits through the end of 2012.
I know that getting Nevadans back to work is the most important thing we can do to get our economy back on track, and while we have made progress in turning our economy around, there is still much more to be done. You can be assured that I will continue to fight to pass legislation that spurs job creation.
Wall Street Reform
I am proud to have led the fight to pass a landmark Wall Street reform bill to curb abuses that led to our nation’s economic storm. Despite months of Republican opposition, I stood on the side of Main Street and fought to put consumers first, rein in reckless gambling that led to the worst financial crisis in a generation, and end taxpayer funded bailouts of banks that had become too big to fail. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ended the possibility that taxpayers will be asked to write a check to bail out financial firms that threaten the economy and eliminated loopholes that allowed risky and abusive practices to go on unnoticed and unregulated. The bill created a council to identify and address systemic risks posed by large, complex companies, products, and activities before they threaten the stability of the economy. It also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an independent watchdog housed at the Federal Reserve, with the authority to ensure American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products, and protect them from hidden fees, abusive terms, and deceptive practices.