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Cortez Masto Leads House and Senate Colleagues in Bipartisan Bill to Support Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Industries

Press Release

Date: Feb. 25, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) along with U.S. House of Representatives Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.-04), and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.-20) today unveiled the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021, legislation that would provide comprehensive relief and recovery measures for the convention, trade show, entertainment, travel and hospitality industries and their workers. It would stimulate the economy by creating new recovery incentives for hospitality and trade shows, extend the employee retention tax credit to reduce layoffs and keep Americans employed, create a perishable food and beverage credit to help small businesses cover costs of inventory lost during COVID closures, and provide a tax credit for middle class families to jumpstart travel when safe.

"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," said Senator Cortez Masto. "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."

"Many industries involving tourism and travel were the first to be hurt by COVID-19 and could be the last to fully recover," said Senator Cramer. "Our bill provides help to some of the hardest hit businesses, encourages employee retention, and incentivizes families to travel when it is safe to do so."

"Before COVID-19, Nevada's vibrant hospitality, tourism, and travel industries employed nearly 30 percent of the Southern Nevada workforce. The pandemic has been devastating to these sectors, and they deserve support from the federal government as they fight to stay in business," said Congressman Steven Horsford. "I'm proud to introduce the bipartisan Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act, which will revitalize our economy and help Nevada's workers get back on their feet."

"The COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated closures continue to negatively impact communities and industries across Illinois' 18th district, especially our hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors," said Congressman LaHood. "As Illinois and our country reopen, this bipartisan bill will give these disproportionally affected businesses the support they need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic."

"As we endure COVID-19 and its consequences on our health and economy, our hospitality workforce and small businesses need continued support to survive," said Congressman Panetta. "That's why I'm reintroducing the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act with Congressman Horsford to ensure that our local businesses are provided with the necessary tax credits to help recover from this pandemic. Our bill will assist our hospitality industry on the Central Coast with preserving its 22,000 local travel and tourism jobs and protecting their future."

"No state has been hit harder by the ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic than Nevada given our tourism-based economy," said Virginia Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association. "This bipartisan legislation provides the critical elements needed to help restore Nevada's struggling tourism and hospitality industry that 433,000 jobs and countless small businesses depend on. We appreciate the leadership of our Nevada members Senator Cortez Masto and Representative Horsford, as well as Senator Cramer and Representatives LaHood and Panetta, in bringing this bill forward."

The Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021 is endorsed by U.S. Travel, the American Gaming Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Restaurant Association, and a number of other associations and coalitions focused on hospitality and tourism. Legislative text and endorsements and a comprehensive summary of the bill can be found HERE and HERE.

BACKGROUND:

Last year, Senator Cortez Masto first introduced the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2020 to address the significant challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industries in Nevada and across the country. The travel economy shrank by $492.3 billion in 2020, and spending declined by 42% over the year. No industry has lost more jobs during this pandemic than leisure and hospitality, and out of all jobs lost nationwide, 39% were from leisure and hospitality. The decline in travel spending has caused federal, state, and local tax revenues to decline by over $64.0 billion over the course of 2020, a 36% decrease from the previous year.

Specifically, the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021 would:

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, 2022 and December 31, 2024.
Extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit from July 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022.
Restore the Entertainment Business Expense Deduction for three years 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 that would cover 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. The 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.
Provide a temporary credit for unmerchantable inventory costs for small businesses that were lost due to necessary precautions to halt public gatherings.


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