On July 29, Congressmen Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Nathan Deal (R-GA) introduced H.R. 3382, the Home Improvements Revitalize the Economy (HIRE) Act, which calls for targeted consumer tax incentives for the purchase of home furnishings such as furniture, flooring, and other home-related products, as well as building products such as construction adhesives and sealants. Retailers will also benefit from direct tax credits and increased sales through this legislation.

“Not only would this bill help stimulate the manufacturing market for home furnishings and building products, it would save and create retail jobs, generate billions in revenue and increase home values at a time when we really need a boost,” Congressman Johnson said. Congressman Deal added, “The HIRE Act will offer incentives for consumers who would otherwise forgo spending in 2009 and 2010, allowing them to improve their homes. And, in turn, jump-start the home furnishings and building products markets.”

Provisions of the HIRE Act, which apply to households with income up to $300,000, provide a tax deduction of $2,000 per family and tax credits of $500 for the purchase of qualified home furnishings and building products. These credits are doubled for products meeting certain environmental certifications. Retailers would be eligible for related tax credits of up to $10,000 under provisions of the bill.

Lawrence D. Sloan, president of The Adhesive and Sealant Council, Inc. (ASC), praised Congressmen Johnson and Deal for taking the lead in advancing the HIRE Act in Congress. “As a result of the housing crisis and the economic downturn, the home furnishings and building-products industries have been severely impacted,” he said. “In 2007 and 2008, the industries represented by the coalition lost $67 billion in direct economic value and 273,000 American jobs. If nothing is done, these industries will lose another $74 billion and 299,000 jobs in 2009. Incentives for the purchase of home furnishings and building products will help boost the housing market, help low- and middle-income taxpayers, and directly protect American manufacturing and retail jobs.”

To read the HIRE Act, clickhere.