THE BROWNFIELDS TAX INCENTIVE WILL REDUCE THE COST OF CLEANING UP THOUSANDS OF CONTAMINATED, ABANDONED SITES IN ECONOMICALLY DISTRESSED AREAS by permitting clean-up costs to be deducted immediately for tax purposes. This will, in turn, encourage redevelopment of these areas. The tax incentive will be available for three years. The Treasury Department estimates that this $1.5 billion tax incentive would leverage more than $6 billion for private sector cleanups nationwide, allowing redevelopment of 14,000 brownfields.
THIS PROPOSAL IS A MAJOR PRIORITY FOR MANY OF AMERICA'S MAYORS. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, writing recently on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, urged Ways and Means Chairman Archer to include the President's Brownfields proposal in the tax bill: "This is a high priority for communities across the nation." [Letter to Chmn. Archer, 6/11/97]
CREATES NEW EMPOWERMENT ZONES. Under the President's 1993 Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities initiative, participating communities develop a strategic plan to spur economic development, and they receive Federal tax benefits, social service grants and flexibility in use of Federal funds in order to put these plans into effect. The EZs and ECs are urban or rural areas with high poverty and unemployment rates.
- A Strong Start since 1994. The 105 communities selected as EZ/ECs in 1994 amassed over $8 billion in public-private commitments. In the six urban Empowerment Zones, the private sector has made or pledged $2 billion in new investments.
A Second Round to Build on Successes. In response, the President proposed, and the bill includes, a second round of EZs -- 15 urban and 5 rural EZs. The new EZs will benefit from a different blend of tax credits from first-round EZs. They will be eligible for the Brownfields tax incentive, special expensing of business assets, and qualification for private-activity bonds.
...And to Move People From Welfare to Work
A WELFARE-TO-WORK TAX CREDIT. This provision will give employers an added incentive to hire long-term welfare recipients by providing a credit equal to 35% of the first $10,000 in wages in the first year of employment, and 50% of the first $10,000 in wages in the second year, paid to new hires who have received welfare for an extended period. The credit is for two years per worker to encourage not only hiring, but also retention.
$3 BILLION TO HELP MOVE 1 MILLION PEOPLE FROM WELFARE TO WORK. Includes President's proposal to create $3 billion Welfare to Work Jobs Challenge to move long-term welfare recipients into jobs. These funds can be used for job creation, job placement and job retention efforts, including wage subsidies to private employers, transportation and other critical post-employment support services. The Labor Department will provide oversight but the dollars will be placed in the hands of the localities who are on the front lines of the welfare reform effort.
PRESERVES THE MINIMUM WAGE AND OTHER LABOR PROTECTIONS FOR WELFARE RECIPIENTS MOVING FROM WELFARE TO WORK. Does not include the House-passed provision to leave workfare participants unprotected by the Fair Labor Standards Act and other employment laws.
PROTECTS WORKERS FROM DISPLACEMENT BY THOSE LEAVING THE WELFARE ROLLS, and establishes a strong process for workers to raise grievances with an independent agency.