LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A proposal in Washington could help bring jobs and tourists back to Las Vegas a little faster as more Americans get vaccinated, and coronavirus cases drop, the I-Team first reported.
Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nevada, said he and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, have introduced the Hospitability and Commerce Jobs Recovery Act. The bill would incentivize hospitality companies to bring back laid off or furloughed workers and give tax credit to convention attendees, Horsford said.
The pandemic battered Las Vegas’ economy, where travel and tourism employ about one-third of the work force. In March 2020, the Las Vegas economy lost 250,000 jobs. About half of those jobs have since returned, the latest economic data shows.
“Our first order of business is crushing this virus and we are making great progress in doing that,” Horsford said. “As we defeat this virus, we need to quickly rebound and this bill will help us do that.”
Under the proposed plan, hospitality employers would receive a tax credit against the wages they pay their employees. Businesses or convention travelers who come to the area for a trade show or event for business-to-business commerce would also be able to get a credit on their taxes, Horsford said.
The bill was introduced Thursday and has bipartisan support, Horsford said. It also includes a tax credit to restaurants who re-hire or renovate post-pandemic.
“It’s been nearly a year since the first businesses in Nevada shuttered, so one of my top priorities continues to be ensuring that Nevada’s hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors have the resources they need to fully recover from the devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “Nevada’s families and businesses across the state have suffered long enough, and this legislation gives these industries the support and incentives they need to continue to safely and responsibly re-open. More action will be needed in the coming months to drive demand and bring back jobs in the Silver State, and I’ll continue to work tirelessly at a federal level to help our state in those recovery efforts.”
If the bill passes, the credits would be in effect for several years.
On Friday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Rescue Plan, which includes direct payments of $1,400 to Americans who make less than $75,000 a year. The plan includes a provision from Horsford to increase federal unemployment benefits to $400 through the fall.