The senate has finally stopped bickering over the stimulus bill, according to reports. The Review-Journal [Front Page] reports reported on February 7 a comparison of some of the provisions in the House and Senate versions:
- House: Tax credit of $500 per worker ($1,000 per couple) for 2009 and 2010. Individuals making more than $75,000 ($150,000 per couple) would receive reduced amounts. Senate: The credit would phase out quicker for families making more than $150,000.
- Direct one-time cash payments. House: $450 to SSI recipients. Senate: $300 to Social Security and SSI recipients, and some veterans.
- Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for families with at least three children.
- $2,500 college credit. House: The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000. Senate: Reduces the amount refunded to families that pay no taxes.
- First-time homebuyer credit, currently $7,500 but must be paid back if home sold within three years. House: Repeals a requirement that it be paid pack. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $150,000. Senate: Doubles the credit to $15,000.
- Home energy credit for projects reducing energy use up to $1,500.
- Exclude from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation.
- Make interest payments on auto loans and sales tax on cars deductible.
Initial estimates indicate about $1.3 billion will come to Nevada from the stimulus bill, which includes $509 million for education and $220 million for highway construction. But Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford and Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley say the Nevada Legislature must add $442 million to Governor Gibbonsâ proposed higher education budge and $116 million to the public school budget to qualify for the stimulus funds.
However, to qualify for the stimulus, Nevadaâs spending on education must rise because the stimulus plan prohibits grants to states whose school spending is less than that during the 2005-06 fiscal year. That is referred to as âmaintenance of effortâ by the states.
The Senate version of the stimulus bill provides a provision for the secretary of education to issue waivers for states that cannot meet the âeffortâ requirement. An aide to Senator Harry Reid said it is doubtful Nevada would qualify for the waiver because it is âgoing the other direct and cutting back on education,â referring to Governor Gibbonsâ proposal to cut the Nevada education budget by 35%.