Rockefeller: Tax Breaks for Job Outsourcing? “Really Stupid”

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Bring Jobs Home Act Would Reverse Current Incentives

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Sen. Jay Rockefeller is co-sponsoring a bill that would reverse tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. The Bring Jobs Home Act would give companies a tax credit for bringing work back to the United States and end loopholes that give them breaks when they relocate workers to other countries, Rockefeller says.

“We now give tax incentives for people who move offshore. That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Corporations that go overseas now receive a tax deduction for moving expenses, and they are also allowed to defer taxes on money made by their foreign operations. The Bring Jobs Home Act would change that to a 20 percent tax credit for the cost of bringing the work home.

Republicans in Congress have blocked the bill, calling it a tax increase. Rockefeller says the policy on breaks for companies that send jobs offshore shows a clear difference between the parties.

“Mitt Romney has vowed to keep that going if he’s elected. What we want to do is reverse it: have a tax incentive for jobs coming back.”

According to the AFL-CIO, the U.S. has lost 6 million manufacturing jobs in the last decade. Some of those jobs are returning slowly, and Rockefeller says this legislation could help speed that up.

One possible amendment would require call center operators to say where they are based when they answer the phone. Rockefeller says he would like to see that, but acknowledges it probably will not pass. Overall, the senator says, with coal being replaced by natural gas, he wants to work for more development and diversification in southern West Virginia. While this legislation is not the perfect tool for that, he says, in some cases it could help with individual companies.

“They probably already have jobs here, and they’ve offshored some of them, and they’d probably bring them back to where they already have jobs.”

The senator spoke about economic development in Charleston on Friday.

More information about Senate Bill 3364 is available at www.govtrack.us.

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