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April 19, 2001
MARTINEZ PROMOTES BUSH BUDGET DURING WEST VIRGINIA TOUR
CHARLESTON, WV - A typical family of four in West Virginia will save $1,600 under the Bush Administration's tax relief plan. That's the message Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez delivered to a group of city and county officials in Charleston today.
An estimated 546,000 West Virginia taxpayers and 92,000 small businesses will benefit from the proposed tax cuts. The budget would also increase funding of several important priorities in West Virginia including public education, health care, the environment and housing assistance for low-income families.
"The federal government is collecting twice as much in taxes than it did twenty years ago," said Martinez. "Enough is enough. The American people deserve tax relief."
West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito said, "Helping West Virginia build better homes and stronger economies is a task that President Bush, Secretary Martinez and I are committed to completing."
Martinez and Capito addressed a group of area mayors and county officials and toured Charleston's Capitol Market, a former B&O rail depot that was converted into a farmer's market with the help of city, county and HUD funding. Martinez and Capito also visited the YWCA Transitional Housing Project which provides housing and supportive services to victims of domestic violence.
The Bush tax relief plan is expected to particularly benefit low- to moderate-income families in West Virginia. A family of four earning $35,000 a year can expect to pay no federal income tax. A similar family earning $50,000 will receive a 50 percent tax cut while those with annual incomes of $75,000 will receive a 25 percent reduction.
Martinez also promoted the Administration's proposed spending plan and its impact on West Virginia. Specifically, the HUD Secretary cited increased funding for the state's public schools to over $302 million. Spending on West Virginia's Head Start Program would increase to more than $48 million to better prepare the state's young children for success in the classroom.
In addition, spending on housing assistance and services for low-income West Virginia families would increase to $191 million. Programs to protect the environment in the state would exceed $37 million.
"Whether it's cutting the nation's debt, protecting Social Security and Medicare or letting working families keep more of their paychecks, this budget is good for America and good for West Virginia," said Martinez.
HUD's budget request for the next fiscal year provides $30.4 billion to provide housing assistance, promote homeownership and economic development, expand affordable housing opportunities, enforce fair housing laws and help meet the needs of the homeless. HUD's proposed FY 2002 budget includes:
- The American Dream Downpayment Fund to provide $200 million to help more than 130,000 low-income families purchase a home;
- Section 8 Homeownership to expand the use of rental vouchers to allow low-income renters to use up to one year's worth of Section 8 assistance toward a downpayment on a home or to make ongoing mortgage payments;
- Renewing the Dream Tax Credit to further promote homeownership opportunities for the rehabilitation or construction of an estimated 100,000 affordable homes and;
- Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages to allow the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to offer low-income families the chance to reduce their initial homeowner costs by combining a low fixed rate in the early years with a rate that later adjusts with the market.