WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation yesterday said it issued a letter to Congressional leaders calling for more incentives to drive consumer spending.
The massive economic stimulus bills have passed both the House and Senate in different versions and are now being reconciled. NRF reissued its call for a series of state sales-tax holidays to encourage retail spending, and said the current stimulus proposals “don’t do enough to provide the jump-start that would bring shoppers back into stores.”
NRF said elements of the current legislation it supports include the “making work pay” tax credit, a home ownership tax credit and other initiatives directed at low- and middle-income families. It also supports certain provisions for businesses like a change in “carry-back” rules that would allow retailers to offset current losses against previous profits from as long as five years ago rather than the current two years.
NRF opposes a provision that would allow laid-off workers age 55 or older or those who have worked at a company for 10 years or more to retain their health insurance coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) until they find another job or qualify for Medicare, citing it as costly to businesses.
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