Wednesday, November 4, 2009

U.S. Senate Votes to Expand Homebuyer's Tax Credit and Extend Unemployment Benefits

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd's office announced late Wednesday that the Senate passed legislation to extend the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and create a $6,500 tax credit for so-called "move-up" buyers who purchase before April 30, 2010.

Qualifying move-up buyers are those who already own a home that has been their principal residence for 5 years or more; are 18 years or older; have incomes of up to $125,000 for an individual tax return or $225,000 for a joint return. The homes must cost less than $800,000 and homebuyers with binding contracts as of April 30 will also qualify for the credit if they complete the transaction within 60 days.

Dodd, a Democrat representing Connecticut, was an original co-sponsor of the bill, which would provide 14 additional weeks of jobless benefits for Connecticut workers.

"This is a double victory for families in Connecticut," Dodd said. "Extending unemployment insurance benefits will help Connecticut families make ends meet in a tough economy. And thousands more middle class Connecticut residents may now be eligible to take advantage of the successful homebuyer's tax credit. By helping unemployed workers keep from falling further behind, and helping middle class families get ahead, we're taking positive steps to get our economy back on track."

Dodd was joined in announcing the Senate action by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) .

Members of the military, military intelligence, and foreign service who are on qualified extended official duty are not subject to the recapture fee and individuals who have been deployed overseas for 90 days or more in 2008 or 2009 can claim the credit through April 30, 2011.

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