Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coalition

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WOTC Legislation - We Need You!

America must raise its productivity to meet 21st century needs for our children's education, healthcare, retirement, and defense. Yet we have large populations of workers--school dropouts, high school graduates and immigrants poorly prepared for work, war veterans entering civilian occupations, low-income seniors, single moms, disabled persons, workers displaced in mass layoffs, and millions of long-term unemployed whose location or skills don't match available jobs. These workers are "chronically unemployed," for in good times and bad, they have higher unemployment rates, which means a lesser chance of getting a job. Yet, equality of opportunity is the core of the American dream.

At the same time, employers are increasingly taking the lead in developing the skills needed by their workforce as technology and missions change over time. Your Coalition is asking Congress to breathe new vigor into workforce investment by providing employers, via the tax code, resources to hire the chronically unemployed and develop in their workforce the skills needed to succeed as a business. A flexible, permanent tax credit as a source of workforce investment would give a huge impetus to assuring employers' ability to continually manage and shape their workforce in step with changing technology and missions.

Fortunately, since 1979, Congress has provided a major tax incentive to create jobs and skills for chronically unemployed workers, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Congress has also expanded WOTC to residents of empowerment zones and more than 400 rural renewal counties to aid their economies. By lowering employers' wage costs, WOTC encourages businesses to hire eligible workers and aids the recovery of depressed areas. In 2013, WOTC generated 1.5 million hires at a cost to the Treasury of approximately $1.7 billion. For $1,100 per job, WOTC is a low-cost investment in our workforce, especially given the costs of allowing a large part of the bottom fifth of the workforce to languish in a cycle of low work and low prospects.

We need your help pressing Congress to make WOTC a permanent part of the tax code to continue giving the chronically unemployed a better chance of obtaining work and aiding skills creation and recovery. To meet 21st century workforce needs, we need our legislators to understand a flexible instrument like WOTC can be adjusted to better serve not only disabled workers, youth, and veterans, but can be effective for developing skills in short supply, helping regions adjust to trade competition or new technology, and re-training dislocated workers in new skills. Educating Congress and the public is our biggest job.


With minimum red tape, tax credits for private employers are now creating approximately 1.5 million new hires a year for unemployed and disabled workers, youth, seniors, veterans, single parents, people on food stamps, and residents of areas rebuilding their economic base. The eligible pool of such workers comprises the unemployed in the bottom fifth of the workforce whose need for training or re-training due to low or obsolete skills often means they are in and out of the job market with little chance to develop. WOTC has been shown to draw these workers into employment and raise their skills and real wages, thus increasing the national income and well-being of their families and communities.

The basic WOTC credit is 40 percent of the first $6,000 of first-year wages paid to an eligible worker by a private employer in a trade or business. The worker receives the job and income; the employer receives a tax credit for creating the job and income. The maximum credit an employer can take is normally $2,400 per worker, so the government's share of the job's cost is limited. The bulk of the worker's wages and benefits, at least 6 or 7 times the government's investment, is paid by the employer.

Through WOTC, the government not only helps a chronically unemployed person find work, but its small investment leverages private capital to pay for the bulk of job costs.

Moreover, the tax credits pay for themselves to some extent, as governments at all levels have lower welfare payments and more revenue as firms plow their credits into investment. In recent years the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation's cost estimates for WOTC average $1,100 per hire. This makes WOTC the most cost-effective of all Federal jobs programs, benefiting workers, employers, families, and hometowns.

BEHIND WOTC IS THE COMMON SENSE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT INVESTING IN OUR WORKFORCE WILL YIELD LONG-RUN GAINS IN PRODUCTIVITY, WAGES, AND JOBS. BUT THIS INVESTMENT COSTS MONEY AND NEEDS TO BE RE-JUSTIFIED TO CONGRESS EVERY YEAR. THIS IS THE MISSION OF THE WOTC COALITION. TOGETHER, WE CAN BE A DRIVING FORCE FOR JOBS AND SKILLS TRAINING AIDING WORKING FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES IN EVERY STATE. JOIN US AND ASK YOUR FIRM OR FOUNDATION TO HELP!!


To succeed, we need the support of American workers, businesses, media, foundations, and civic organizations. You can help by contacting your congressperson and both U. S. senators on behalf of a permanent WOTC. A model letter you are welcome to put into your own words is available nearby.

As the legislative situation in Congress develops, your voice can be effective because we send regular reports by e-mail, allowing you to contact your congressperson or senators at critical times--you decide. All you need do now is use the model letter to make your initial contact with your congressperson and senators to urge permanent authority for WOTC in the coming tax reform bill. Later, you must stay in touch with them and their staff face-to-face or on the phone because your relationship should be continuous to be effective.

IN YOUR OUTREACH, DON'T FORGET "THE BOTTOM LINE," EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE ASKING YOUR CONGRESSPERSON OR SENATOR TO DO!

If you or your organization or its foundation are in a position to support the Coalition financially, you may make a voluntary contribution in any amount to support the campaign, or you may pay regular membership dues (see "Membership"). By everyone contributing to the campaign, costs are spread over many organizations and the burden shared by all. Dues and contributions should be made payable to "Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coalition" and mailed to 5920 Munson Court, Falls Church, VA 22041-2449. Our Federal tax I. D. is 04-3720458. Contributions for lobbying are not tax-deductible, and we are not a 501(c)(3) organization, so only a portion of membership dues may be tax-deductible. Please consult your accountant.

WOTC Coalition members have accomplished prodigies sustaining the jobs tax credits since their enactment in 1979. Ours is a large country with many different labor markets, and the government and business need flexible tools to invest in the highest quality workforce for the future. With targeted tax incentives like WOTC, employers are able to hire and train workers in the skills needed to sustain our country's technological leadership and prosperity, regions can develop their industrial base, and workers gain higher wages and living standards from rising productivity. By raising your voice, you can help achieve these goals. The need is urgent and important!