Washington, D.C. — Representatives Steven Horsford (NV-04), Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) introduced the bi-partisan Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act to revitalize the tourism and hospitality industries, which have been severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A companion to the U.S. Senate legislation introduced by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Keven Cramer (R-N.D.), the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act looks to provide comprehensive relief for the convention, entertainment, hospitality, and travel industries and their workers by creating new recovery incentives and enhancing the employee retention tax credit until frequent travel and tourism safely resumes.
“The hospitality, travel and tourism industries employ nearly 30 percent of Southern Nevada’s workers and are the lifeblood of our state’s economy. These sectors face unprecedented hardships amid the COVID-19 pandemic and have made every effort to keep their employees and customers safe as they fight to stay in business,” Horsford said in a released statement. “I’m proud to introduce the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act to give them and their workers a fighting chance as we navigate these challenging times.”
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a tremendous challenge to both public health and the economy, and no industry in the U.S. has been more severely impacted than the travel and hospitality sector. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in travel and tourism has fallen by 23.9 percent across the nation this year. Passenger air travel to Las Vegas has declined by 60.8 percent alone, and even as Nevada continues the process of re-opening, Las Vegas has seen a decline in visitor volume of 57 percent from August of last year.
The Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act seeks to:
- Support the convention and trade show industries by establishing a tax credit for the cost of attending or hosting a convention, business meeting, or trade show in the United States between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2023.
- Make improvements to the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
- Restore the Entertainment Business Expense Deduction by repealing the changes made by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
- Support the restaurant industry by establishing a tax credit for restaurants or food service businesses, covering any cost associated with reopening or increasing service at an establishment forced to close down or reduce operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic—including any renovation, remediation, testing, or labor cost needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Credit would be effective between the date of enactment and December 31, 2022.
- Provide a modest tax credit for qualified travel expenses for many Americans.
“The Senate bill is currently in the Senate Finance committee where it has sat since its introduction,” WLDS radio in Illinois reported. “LaHood plans introduction into the House this week.”