October 1, 2009
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The Marble Institute of America (MIA) announced that it has been invited to join, and has joined, a building products and home furnishings coalition to help support the passage of H.R. 3382, the Home Improvements Revitalize the Economy Act of 2009 (HIRE Act). The HIRE Act would provide consumers and businesses tax deductions and credits to offer relief to middle- and low-income families for the purchase of home furnishings and building products used to improve their homes.

During the current economic downturn, home repairs and upgrades have been dramatically curtailed. This has had a significant impact throughout the U.S economy, and in particular, to the home furnishings and building products sectors. “These industries have experienced a steep decline in sales, job losses and other financial hardships,” stated a release from the MIA. “The HIRE Act is a temporary, timely and targeted effort to put money in the hands of consumers and help them improve the value of their homes by incentivizing the purchase of home furnishings. These purchases will also help to save and stimulate the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of these products.”

“The HIRE Act can provide a strong stimulus for the remodeling industry nationwide,” said Gary Distelhorst, Executive Vice President of the MIA. “As a major supporter of the initiative, we will work aggressively with other home improvement industry associations to win passage of legislation that can really impact a badly slumping segment of our economy.”

The home furnishing and building products industries:

• have lost $67 billion in economic value from 2007 to 2008

• are expected to lose another $74 billion from 2008 to 2009

• lost 273,000 American jobs in 2008 and are expected to lose 299,000 jobs in 2009

For three years (2009 – 2011), the HIRE Act would:

• provide a tax deduction of up to $2,000 per family ($1,000 per individual) for the purchase and/or installation of qualifying home furnishings or building products for families making up to $300,000 a year ($150,000 for individuals)

• provide a tax credit of up to $500 per family ($250 per individual) for the purchase and/or installation of qualifying home furnishings or building products for low-income families and individuals

• provide a tax credit of up to $10,000 for contractors and retailers for the purchase of qualifying home furnishings or building products for resale

• provide a doubling of the applicable tax deduction or credit for the purchase and/or installation of qualifying home furnishings or building products which meet recognized environmental standards

MIA will urge its member firms and the entire natural stone industry to support the HIRE Act in order to help consumers improve their homes, create jobs and stimulate the U.S. economy.

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