Proposed Travel Tax Credit

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A proposed travel tax credit would do wonders for the industry—
but it’s far from a reality yet.

The idea of a travel tax credit holds great promise for the travel and events industry, but right now it is just that—an idea.

In May, President Donald Trump floated the idea at a White House roundtable with restaurant executives and industry leaders, and dubbed it “Explore America”—a $4,000 tax credit that Americans can use for up to half of a household’s vacation expenses, including transportation, hotel reservations and dining out. All expenses over $50 would qualify.

The proposal was hailed by industry leaders, including the U.S. Travel Association.

“An ‘Explore America’ tax credit and campaign will do wonders to put America back on the path to prosperity. We applaud the president’s support, and with our industry’s health and safety guidance for the reopening of travel businesses in place, we are very prepared to work with the administration to push the effort forward at the right time,” Travel Association CEO Roger Dow said in a statement after Trump’s remarks.

The credit would encourage recipients to spend money to boost the economy and has the potential to create more jobs in a sector of the economy that has been hard hit. On the down side,  unlike the previous stimulus, this would be a tax credit, not direct money, and there is still uncertainty around the safety of travel and a possible second wave.

Congress hasn’t set a date for a vote on the next stimulus package, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate may wait until the end of July to start work on the bill. For now, it’s Stay Tuned.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.