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Homeless Hiring Tax Credit Sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Signed into Law

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By Lookout Staff

July 16, 2021 -- A bill sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that establishes a tax credit for employers who hire the homelss was signed into law by Governor Newsom on Friday.

Part of AB 150 -- a budget trailer bill -- the California Homeless Hiring Tax Credit is expected to assist some 3,000 individuals and help businesses recover from the coronavirus shutdown.

The new law establishes a tax credit of between $2,500 and $10,000 per qualified homeless individual hired, according to Bloom's office.

Under this plan, a qualified employer can claim $30,000 in tax credits annually. To qualify, an employer "will need to pay wages subject to withholding under the Unemployment Insurance code and pay family-supporting wages.

The employer also must be certified by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency as a 'high-road' employer, defined as a firm that competes "based on quality of product and service achieved through innovation and investment in human capital."

"The Tax Credit simultaneously confronts the homelessness crisis facing California while also addressing the job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic that have disproportionately harmed low-income communities," Bloom's office said in a statement Friday.

"For small businesses, the Tax credit is slated to ease the significant financial strain that many are currently experiencing."

The tax credit was originally introduced in the legislature this year by Bloom and Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) through a package of legislation.

The concept became a budget priority in both the State Senate and Assembly, reflected in the Joint Budget Proposal sent by the State Legislature to Governor Newsom earlier this month, Bloom's office said.

As a trailer bill, it was attached to the state's budget (CA), allowing it to bypass the regular legislative process and be negotiated as part of the entire budget package.

“Creating this pathway for purposeful employment in a way that positively incentivizes our local, small businesses to hire our unhoused neighbors is a huge step in the fight to end homelessness,” Bloom said.

“By establishing this tax credit, we will not only help revitalize our local businesses across the state, but move further towards housing all Californians.”

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