18th District Congressman Darin LaHood has introduced a parent bill in the House hoping to help the hospitality, tourism, and travel sector of the U.S. Economy. LaHood has introduced the House version of Senate Bill 4807 called the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2020. The Senate version of the bill was introduced on October 19th by Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Republican Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.
The bill seeks to establish tax credits and revise existing credits and deductions to protect the hospitality and restaurant industries. Specifically, the bill allows a convention and trade show restart tax credit for (1) the costs of participation in a convention, seminar, or similar meeting, a business meeting, or a trade show that takes place after 2020; and (2) the costs of reopening an entertainment facility closed due to the COVID-19. It also allows a business-related tax credit for the costs of reopening restaurants or food service businesses forced to close down or reduce operations due to COVID-19.
The bill modifies, and increases the rate of, the tax credit for the retention of employees for an employer whose business has been affected by a disaster or public health emergency. It also repeals the increased limitations on the tax deduction for meals and entertainment expenses enacted in 2017. Finally, the bill allows individual taxpayers a new tax credit for travel expenses relating to entertainment activities occurring in the United States between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2023.
The Senate bill is currently in the Senate Finance committee where it has sat since its introduction. LaHood plans introduction into the House this week. LaHood says it would address the massive unemployment in the travel and tourism sector across the country.