The WOTC encourages private employers to hire people on public assistance who might otherwise have barriers to employment, including disabled, unemployed, and food stamp-dependent veterans
By PVA Staff
On April 2, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced S. 978, a bill to make the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) permanent. A week later, on April 10, House Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA), along with Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Tom Rice (R-SC), and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) announced the introduction of H.R. 2213, a similar bill to make the tax credit permanent.
The WOTC encourages private employers to hire people on public assistance who might otherwise have barriers to employment, including disabled, unemployed, and food stamp-dependent veterans. Studies show that WOTC saves both state and federal governments at least $85 billion over ten years because it reduces spending on programs like TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, and housing assistance. The most recent five-year extension of the program, enacted in 2015, significantly increased hiring by employers of individuals on public assistance programs, veterans, and people with disabilities. According to the Department of Labor’s most recent statistics, over 2.2 million WOTC certifications were issued in fiscal year 2018 compared to 1.3 million in fiscal year 2014.
PVA is a strong supporter of WOTC and recently joined a number of advocacy organizations in a letter to Congress urging permanent extension of the program prior to its expiration on December 31. Of the Senate sponsors, all but Senator Blunt are members of the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Blunt, however, is a member of the Senate leadership and works closely with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Their sponsorship of this measure is meant to send a strong signal to Congress and the White House that the time for WOTC permanency is long overdue.