The House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would give tax relief to the families of military personnel, as well as help volunteer firefighters and emergency medical responders.
HR 3997, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax, or HEART, Act of 2007, passed the House on a vote of 410 to 0. The legislation provides $2 billion in tax relief for military families, including the Earned Income Tax Credit, as well as low-interest home loans for veterans. It also makes the tax and pension provisions permanent for military families.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, sponsored the bill. "The HEART Act honors the great sacrifice of the women and men who serve our country in the military," he said in a statement.
Another supporter was Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.H. "I am glad we have acted to provide needed tax relief for military families," he said in a statement. "I know their sacrifices do not end when they arrive home, and I am committed to providing as much assistance as possible to our brave men and women."
Among other provisions, the legislation allows combat pay to be included as earned income, and modifies qualified mortgage revenue bonds used to finance residences for veterans. It also allows most military cash allowances beyond basic pay to be treated as earned income for the purpose of determining Supplemental Security Income eligibility and benefit amounts for military families. In addition, the bill contains provisions to help Peace Corps and Americorps volunteers.
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