March 17th, 2008 11:44 AM by Sherry Lee
The Federal Government has passed an economic stimulus package aimed at boosting the sluggish economy. Among the provisions, workers earning $75,000 or less will receive up to a $600 tax rebate. Married couples earning $150,000 or less will receive up to $1,200. Anyone qualifying for a check would receive an extra $300 for each child. Seniors, veterans with disabilities and workers who paid little or no income tax in 2007 are also eligible for the rebates.
In addition to the rebates, the stimulus includes an increase in the size of mortgage loans that can be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Also, the stimulus package includes $51 billion in benefits aimed at business. Specifically, it would allow American businesses that buy new equipment this year to deduct 50% of the cost in 2008. The remaining value would be depreciated over the life of the item, beginning that year. The plan also nearly doubles to $250,000 the section 179 expensing limits for small businesses.
Along with continued Fed easing of interest rates, the economy at large and housing market in particular should be poised to form a bottom in late 2008 and begin a gradual rebound in early 2009.