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NEWS: U.S. Tourism Industry Wants “Explore America” Tax Credit To Grant $4,000 Per Household For Travel (including Theme Parks!)

A vacation to Walt Disney World seems out of reach for many as the surge of closures due to COVID-19 has placed many out of work. The U.S. Tourism Industry has been hit hard as travelers are focusing on getting their bills paid rather than enjoying a vacation. There is a new proposal however called “Explore America” that would benefit the tourism industry… including those of us wanting to travel to Walt Disney World.

 

As shared by Orlando Sentinel, “Industry lobbyists are circulating a plan in Congress and at the White House that would dangle $4,000 tax breaks in front of Americans to get them to begin traveling and spending money at hotels, theme parks and other tourism businesses.”

“The idea has already attracted one important booster: U.S. President Donald Trump, a hotel owner himself.”

“The “Explore America” tax credit is one of a host of proposed subsidies that tourism industry lobbyists are pitching to policymakers as the early contours of a new economic stimulus package begin to take shape in Washington.”

“Between Congress and the Federal Reserve, the federal government has committed trillions of dollars to stop the economic free fall caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. But they will have to spend even more to help pull the hard-hit tourism industry back to its feet, said Tori Emerson Barnes, a lobbyist for the U.S. Travel Association, whose members include the Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Parks & Resorts, among many others. “Right now, our businesses need relief. But ultimately, we’ll need recovery,” she said.”

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“But some say that if taxpayers are going to spend more money supporting tourism, then the aid needs to do more than preserve profit margins. Congress should require that further aid to the tourism industry include conditions that ensure improvements for front-line workers, such as job security, better wages or benefits like paid sick time, said Wendi Walsh, an officer with UNITE HERE, a union that represents workers at hotels, airports and casinos across the country, including thousands at Disney World. “I think we really need to move from incentives to requirements to get these companies to do the right thing,” Walsh said.

“But now that businesses are beginning to reopen across the country, tourism executives are turning their attention to how to get people traveling again — especially when unease about job security and coronavirus infection is likely to make many reluctant to spend money or congregate in crowds.”

“That’s where the “Explore America” tax credit would come in. While lobbyists are still working on the concept with officials in Congress and the Trump Administration, early drafts envision an income tax credit worth up to 50 percent of a household’s spending on expenses like airfare or rental cars, hotel rooms, tickets to attractions and meals in restaurants that are at least 50 miles away. The tax credit would be capped at $4,000 per household and it would apply to travel expenses through the end of 2021.”

To read more from Orlando Sentinel click here.

If you were offered a $4,000 tax break to travel, would your destination be Walt Disney World?

About Mike/ Jamie

We are Disney nerds. Two kids at heart who love the magic and the memories of Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with Disney Vacation Club and RunDisney events in particular. We enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways and geek out over the planning of such events. From lodging to dining to Fastpasses we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Mike’s frivolous Disney goal is to acquire a magic band of every style while Jamie’s goal is to experience as many Disney desserts as possible. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us. We have been married for 16 years and are blessed with a daughter and a son who have already learned the importance of planning ahead! As a family we thoroughly enjoy the magic and the memories at Walt Disney World and are here to help others experience the magic as well.