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Homeowner Tax Credits Extended

POSTED: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 8:15am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm

Just in time for the holidays, the Senate voted to extend unemployment benefits for more than a million jobless Americans expected to lose benefits by the end of the year. On Thursday the House debated the bill, which also extends the first time home buyer tax credit.

It’s a break for the housing industry, struggling business, and the unemployed. "I’m a welder and i've been looking for work and I haven't found any," said unemployed welder James Robinson. With more than 15 million jobless Americans, and the housing market reeling from the recession, comes this vote.

Congress passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits for 14 weeks. And an additional six weeks in states with unemployment rates higher than 8.5 percent.

"For millions of American families struggling with unemployment the recession is not over," said Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer. The bill also continues an $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit an additional seven months.

It creates a new $6,500 tax credit for some current homeowners who qualify, if they buy a new home by the end of next April. “One of the real drags on the economy has been the housing industry,” said republican Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana. The housing sector is still reeling from foreclosures, over capacity, and a credit crunch that is crippling the industry. "56 people doing development here I’m down to one person. There really isn't any opportunity to hire people in these types of homes," said Stephen Rosenburgh of Dynamic Asset Management.

Even with the new stimulus, job losses continue to plague the U.S. economy. In addition, the bill allows businesses that have had losses in 2008 and 2009 to seek refunds for taxes paid on profits over the past five years. The price tag, around 24 billion dollars, more aid for Americans, now on the way to the president’s desk.