Child Care Tax Credit Hits Committee Floor - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Child Care Tax Credit Hits Committee Floor

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Nevada's Senate and Assembly Democrats released their "Nevada Blueprint" last month.  One of their goals was to offer incentives to companies who help their employees pay for child care.  SB147 was heard by the Committee on Revenue and Economic Development, Thursday.  If passed, it would offer a Modified Business Tax credit.  The credit would be 50 percent of the amount paid by the company, up to $2,500.  In other words, for every two dollars spent on child care, the company would get a one-dollar credit.

"It really bears on parents who are trying to work and trying to make sure that they provide for their families," Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas said.

Spearman is the sponsor of the bill.  She says the measure would help many families that have to decide whether to work and pay thousands of dollars in child care, or stay home.

"I heard a mother say, yesterday at a town hall meeting, that she had to quit work because she didn't have child care," Spearman said. "She didn't have the money to pay for child care. I don't think that parents should have to make the choice between working to care for their families or having adequate child care."

According to "Child Care Aware of America", the annual cost of child care for a four-year-old is $8,000-$10,000.  Some pay more for child care than they would for college tuition.  Spearman says giving a tax incentive to employers would ease that burden.

"It helps lift families up and we're really about working hard for hard-working people," Spearman said.

Since the plan would cost the company twice as much as the tax credit, it would actually pay 50 percent more than it would if it did not participate.  Still, Spearman says many companies will decide to help pay for child care.

"I think it benefits the employer because you have employees that are happier, you have employees that are not worried about what's going on with their children, and you also have a workforce, if you will, that is really more loyal," Spearman said.

Spearman expects plenty of tough questions regarding the bill, but expects it to pass.  While some argue that the state should not be on the hook for child care costs, Spearman says $2,500 per employee is the least it can do.

"It's probably not enough right now but this is a real good start, and hopefully, we can come back next session and increase that amount," Spearman said.

Of the seven members on the committee, three are Republicans.  They told us they wanted to hear what was in the bill before they gave their opinions.

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