Representative Brian King (Democrat, SLC) has recently proposed HB 274 in an attempt to help the homeless get meaningful employment.
HB 274, Tax Credits for Employing a Homeless Person, gives a series of increasing tax credits to companies who continuously employ the homeless. The credits start at $500 and work upward to a maximum of $2,000 per year depending on how long the person has continuously worked for the company, and how many hours per month the individual works.
“The recession put a lot of people out of work who wouldn’t normally have a problem finding a job,” said Representative King. “The need is great, and my hope is that with this tool – businesses, non-profits, and agencies like the Department of Workforce Services can come together to help people make ends meet, while benefiting themselves as well.”
Although the law is meant to benefit all the homeless, it only applies to those who are currently living in private or publicly funded temporary housing or transitional facilities. It does not apply to those who sleep on the street.
“Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to provide these types of credits for someone living under a viaduct,” says King. “According to both state and federal laws, a company cannot hire someone who doesn’t have an address.”
King hopes this law enables more people to get back to work, which will strengthen our economy. “I think this is a win-win for the business community and of course the folks who are transitioning from being homeless back into the workforce.”
If this bill passes, how will it affect your hiring decisions? Will you hire the homeless just for the tax credit? What will the long-term effects be? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
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This story was originally reported by Eric Ethington on utahpoliticalcapital.com.