April 23, 2003
MARTINEZ: BUSH STIMULUS PLAN GOOD FOR LOUISIANA FAMILIES
"Jobs and Growth" Package Will Boost Economy Through Lower Taxes,
NEW ORLEANS - President Bush's economic-stimulus package will mean big benefits for Louisiana's families, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez said Wednesday in a visit to New Orleans.
Speaking to New Orleans business leaders, Martinez pointed to published reports that the President's "Jobs and Growth" plan will bring relief to 1.1 million Louisiana taxpayers and promote economic development statewide through tax savings for small businesses.
"Families will benefit through greater spending power, and small businesses will have an opportunity to grow and create jobs," said Martinez, who also stressed the importance of a strong housing market to the overall economy. "This is good for Louisiana and good for America."
It is estimated that the President's plan, endorsed by 250 leading economists, would create 510,000 new jobs by the end of 2003 and 1.4 million by the end of 2004. Ninety-two million Americans, on average, would receive a tax cut of $1,083. The plan calls for an acceleration of marriage-penalty relief, an increase in the Child Tax Credit from $600 to $1,000 and the expansion of the 10-percent tax bracket to include several million more Americans. In addition, the plan would bring relief to stockholders through elimination of the double taxation of dividends.
In Louisiana, studies indicate that the economic plan would benefit more than
800,000 married and single filers through the expanded 10-percent tax bracket.
Nearly 450,000 couples would benefit from the elimination of the marriage penalty,
over 380,000 parents would benefit from the increased Child Tax Credit, and
over 375,000 taxpayers would gain through the end of double taxation of dividends.
Also, 280,000 small businesses would have tax savings to apply toward new jobs
In addition, the President's proposed budget for 2004 reflects his belief in the importance of a strong housing market to the overall economy. A HUD study found that achievement of the President's goal of adding 5.5 million new minority homeowners by 2010 would generate $256 billion for the economy. To that end, the budget calls for a $113 million increase for the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) to promote the construction of affordable housing in states and communities nationwide. Louisiana is pegged to receive $34 million, a $1.4 million increase over 2003.
The President also is proposing a Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit to stimulate the production of affordable for-sale homes in communities where such housing is scarce. The proposed tax credit, amounting to as much as 50 percent of the cost of new construction or rehabilitation, would provide an incentive for builders and developers to create homes available for sale to low-income households earning less than 80 percent of an area's median income.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.