The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) has formed a coalition of trade associations representing manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the home furnishings industries to support legislation that will enact new tax incentives to boost sales of mattresses and other products.
The HIRE Act would enact these tax incentives and was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in July. ISPA is seeking support among legislators for the HIRE Act in the House.
The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as the stimulus bill) includes several provisions that could help companies claim tax benefits and encourage the sales of new mattresses. Included is a first-time home buyer tax credit intended to stimulate the housing market, which should also encourage consumers to buy new interior furnishings including mattresses. A provision to allow small businesses to carry back losses for five years has been included as well. This extension will provide tax relief for some companies that posted a loss. ISPA supported both of these provisions during the legislative process.
According to ISPA, the home furnishing and building products industries lost $67 billion in economic value from 2007 to 2008 and are expected to lose another $74 billion from 2008 to 2009. In addition, those industries lost 273,000 American jobs in 2008 and are expected to lose 299,000 jobs in 2009
The HIRE ACT proposed that for 2009–2011, the HIRE Act would:
- Provide a tax deduction of up to $2000 per family ($1000 per individual) for the purchase and/or installation of qualifying home furnishings or building products for families making up to $300,000 a year ($150,000 for individuals)
- Provide a tax credit of up to $500 per family ($250 per individual) for the purchase and/or installation of qualifying home furnishings or building products for low income families and individuals
- Provide a tax credit of up to $10,000 for contractors and retailers for the purchase of qualifying home furnishings or building products for resale
- Provide a doubling of the applicable tax deduction or credit for the purchase and/or installation of qualifying home furnishings or building products which meet recognized environmental standards
According to Jessica Franken, INDA's Director of Government Affairs, "As of now, HIRE Act supporters are looking for opportunities to link the bill to legislation to address the nation's high jobless rate and aid the unemployed, which is being discussed on Capitol Hill. Although the Senate has said it will wait until next year to take up a jobs bill, the House is expected to produce a measure before the end of the year and/or in January and has formed a Jobs Now! Caucus to consider various legislative proposals. HIRE Act supporters view this as one of the best possible vehicles to move the legislation forward."