Dodd: A “Double Victory” for Connecticut Workers and Middle Class Families

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Chris Dodd's legislation to extend the homebuyer’s tax credit and expand it to more middle class families passed the Senate tonight as part of a bill that will also extend unemployment insurance. Dodd was an original co-sponsor of the bill, which will provide 14 additional weeks of jobless benefits for Connecticut workers.

“This is a double victory for families in Connecticut,” said Dodd. “Extending unemployment insurance benefits will help Connecticut families make ends meet in a tough economy. And thousands more middle class Connecticut residents may now be eligible to take advantage of the successful homebuyer’s tax credit. By helping unemployed workers keep from falling further behind, and helping middle class families get ahead, we’re taking positive steps to get our economy back on track.”

Dodd was joined by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in support of extending the homebuyer’s tax credit. The provision also expands it to cover people looking to buy a new home after having owned and lived in a home for more than five years. More than 70 percent of existing homeowners will now be eligible to take advantage of this program and use the credit to buy a new home.

The House version of the bill provided a 13-week extension in unemployment benefits for workers in states where the three-month unemployment average was above 8.5 percent. Dodd co-authored the Senate version, which provides a 14-week extension for workers in all states, including Connecticut, and an additional six weeks for workers in states where the three-month unemployment average is at or above 8.5 percent. Connecticut's three-month average is 8.1 percent.

Summary of Dodd’s Homebuyer’s Tax Credit Provision:

· Extends the $8,000 first time Homebuyers Tax Credit and creates a new $6,500 tax credit for qualifying “move-up buyers” purchasing a home before April 30, 2010.

· Qualifying “move-up” buyers include homebuyers who already own a home that they have used as a principal residence for 5 years or more.

· Homebuyers with binding contracts as of April 30th will also qualify for the credit so long as they complete the transaction within 60 days.

· Available to homebuyers with incomes of up to $125,000 for a single return or $225,000 for a joint return.

· Available for homes which cost less than $800,000.

· Provides authority to the IRS to do greater oversight while processing the return and requires that the taxpayer claiming the credit be 18 or older.

· Members of the military, military intelligence, and foreign service who are on qualified extended official duty are not subject to the recapture fee and individuals who have been deployed overseas for 90 days or more in 2008 or 2009 can claim the credit through April 30, 2011.

Source: Charles A Ferraro, President – William Raveis Mortgage LLC

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