Reid works to boost housing, tax and veteran’s benefits
April 29, 2009
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Washington, D.C. – Under the leadership of Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate today passed the 2010 budget resolution, laying the groundwork for increased aid to Nevadans in the form of tax relief, foreclosure assistance and veteran’s benefits. This legislation also meets the broad national goals of investing in the future, strengthening the middle class and restoring fiscal discipline. Budget items of particular interest to Nevadans include:
- Tax relief: Reid, working with Sen. John Ensign, included an amendment creating a reserve fund that facilitates legislation making permanent the state and local sales tax deduction that many Nevada residents use when filing their federal income tax returns. More than 440,000 Nevadans rely on this deduction for tax relief. The deduction, which provides equity for taxpayers in states like Nevada that do not have an individual income tax, expires at the end of this year.
- Mortgage Assistance: Reid included a housing reserve fund to allow for legislation that would address a number of issues related to mortgage and foreclosure in Nevada. Reid believes Nevada homeowners need more leverage in their efforts to seek loan modifications with lenders and loan servicers. This could be used to provide assistance to Nevada homeowners struggling with their mortgages, incentivize mortgage providers to make these mortgages more affordable and combat mortgage fraud and scam artists in the state.
- Concurrent Receipt: Current law prevents veterans classified by the Veterans Administration as disabled from collecting both disability pay and retired pay, despite the fact that the men and women are eligible for both for different reasons. For every dollar a veteran receives as disability compensation, a dollar is deducted from his or her retirement pay. In some cases, this ban takes away a veteran’s full retirement pay, wiping away the benefits he or she earned in 20 or more years of service. Reid included a provision in this legislation that lays the foundation for ending the absurd “Concurrent Receipt” practice.
“While people in Washington have been talking about the broad, national implications of this budget, I have been focusing on Nevada, and working behind the scenes to make sure the budget addresses the serious problems facing our state. I am very pleased that we have had much success,” Reid said. “This budget will help put real dollars in the hands of Nevadans, through tax relief, mortgage assistance and veteran’s benefits. It also lays the groundwork for job-creating investments in energy, health care and education.”
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