Portman, Brown Lead Bipartisan Bill to Make Work Opportunity Tax Credit Permanent

Bill Strengthens Federal Effort to Connect Long-Term Unemployed With Jobs

April 2, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – along with Ben Cardin (D-MD), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) – today introduced bipartisan legislation – the Work Opportunity Tax Credit & Jobs Act – to make permanent the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which encourages employers to hire individuals who face significant barriers to employment.  Currently, the WOTC expires on December 31, 2019.  

The WOTC provides an employer tax credit of between $1,200 and $9,600 per employee for hiring and retaining individuals that are part of certain targeted groups representing populations that have a difficult time finding work, or are often out of the labor force altogether. The credit amount is based on the qualified wages paid to those employees within the targeted groups. These targeted groups include: veterans, long-term unemployed, ex-felons, the disabled, summer youth employees, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Supplemental Security Income recipients. 

“Our economy is creating jobs and increasing wages, and that’s good news, but we have much more work ahead to help those individuals who are in the shadows and struggling to find meaningful employment,” said Senator Portman. “Encouraging employers to hire those who have the most trouble finding work is good policy, and that’s why we should make the Work Opportunity Tax Credit permanent.” 

“Hard work doesn’t pay off like it used to, with too many workers trying but struggling to get ahead,” Senator Brown said.  “People can and want to contribute to their communities, and they deserve a fair shot. The WOTC provides that opportunity, and awards companies for investing in their greatest asset – the American worker.”