New TRIP Act could provide up to $8,000+ in aid

Right now, we are awaiting for the Senate to agree to the next type of stimulus funding that will go out.

The big talk is about the next round of stimulus checks that the president has already stated will likely go out. These checks may be roughly the same as the first round, offering $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples.

In addition, we have even heard Republican senators state that it is more a matter of when and not if more stimulus checks will come out.

Then there are the additional forms of aid that we have seen such as the $4,000 vacation credit.

But there has been a new proposal aimed at encouraging Americans to get out and travel following the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) introduced legislation to support the tourism industry following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This piece of legislation is called a TRIP Act.

Senator Martha McSally’s website describes the bill as follows:

The bill, called the American TRIP Act, would provide tax credits to Americans who spend money on lodging, entertainment, and other expenses related to travel in the United States and its territories. Additionally, the bill provides funding for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to promote the travel and tourism industry across the nation. 

The tax credit would offer $4,000 to individuals and $8,000 to those filing jointly. In addition, they would get $500 for each dependent child.

Qualifying expenses would include:

  • (A) Food and beverages
  • (B) Lodging
  • (C) Transportation
  • (D) Live entertainment events (including sporting events)
  • (E) Expenses related to attending a conference or business meeting.

Qualifying travel would be any travel that takes place within the US, so long as the final destination is over 50 miles from your place of residence.

It’s no surprise that this bill would come from the state of Arizona. In Arizona, “travel and tourism account for more than $3 billion in tax receipts and employs in total more than 180,000 people.”

Travel and tourism now have one of the highest unemployment rates out of any sector and it was over 35% in May.

While I am a huge proponent of these bills to bolster the travel industry, I do not think these should serve as a replacement to more stimulus checks. It takes far too long to receive the financial benefit of a tax credit and many people simply can’t afford to take a vacation right now or in the near term.

Therefore, I hope one of these stimulus packages to help the travel industry gets passed eventually but I really don’t think they should be in place of more stimulus checks.

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