LaHood introduces bill to support hospitality and other industries impacted by pandemic

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) last week introduced a bicameral, bipartisan bill that would provide federal tax credits to support the travel, convention, trade show, entertainment, tourism, and hospitality industries across the country impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and state-mandated closures continue to negatively impact communities and industries across Illinois’ 18th district, especially our hospitality, travel and tourism sectors,” Rep. LaHood said. “As Illinois and our country reopen, this bipartisan bill will give these disproportionately affected businesses the support they need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Rep. LaHood on Feb. 25 introduced the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021, H.R. 1346, with bills sponsor U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) and cosponsors including U.S. Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC).

If enacted, the bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to create a refundable tax credit for travel expenditures, among other purposes, according to the congressional record bill summary. U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced S. 477 in their chamber on the same day.

The bill would establish a tax credit for the cost of attending or hosting a convention, business meeting, or trade show in the United States between Jan. 1, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2024, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. LaHood’s office, and would extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit from July 1, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022.

Additionally, an enacted bill would restore the Entertainment Business Expense Deduction for three years by amending the tax code, and establish a tax credit that would be effective between the date of enactment and Dec. 31, 2022 for restaurants or food service businesses to cover any cost associated with reopening or increasing service at an establishment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit tourism and hospitality in South Carolina especially hard,” said Rep. Rice. “As the country re-opens safely, we must work to return to pre-COVID levels of economic growth and employment as quickly as possible. I am happy to support this bill that will spur recovery in this crucial industry.”

The bill has garnered support from U.S. Travel, the American Gaming Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the National Restaurant Association, among several other associations and coalitions focused on hospitality and tourism.