Pending tax rate changes to support coal mine workers injured by “black lung” disease | Nationwide

Black lung is a debilitating disease that is still prevalent today. According to a study from Appalachian Citizen Law CenterThe number of cases of black lung has increased in recent years, affecting young people and causing more serious illness.

Suffering miners need access to medical resources. Black Lung Disorder Trust Fund (BLDTF), They also need their medical compensation. The excise tax paid by the coal company guarantees that the miner will receive due compensation.

Excise tax is BLDTF’s only source of income and already has over $ 4 billion in debt. If the miner’s employer goes bankrupt or is not held liable, the BLDTF pays medical benefits and pays a small monthly living fee to the coal miner and his surviving dependents who are disabled by black lung disease. Will be provided.

In 2018, excise taxes were reduced and collected at 50% of past tax rates throughout 2019, further deepening BLDTF debt. In 2019 and 2020, the high past sales tax rate was reinstated by a one-year extension bill, but it will be cut in half again at the end of this year without Congressional action.

In response to these trends, legislators have proposed new bills. 2021 Black Lung Benefit Disability Trust Fund Act, Extend the black lung consumption tax for 10 years. This 10-year extension provides long-term security for the fund and its dependent miners compared to the short-term 1-year extension.

“Giving a historically high excise tax for 10 years eliminates the need to fight each year,” said Gary Hairston, president of the American Black Lung Association, based in Fayette, West Virginia. Thank you for what Manchin did, but if the fund goes into debt, the taxpayer will have to pay it, so I’m waiting to see what he’s planning further. “

The introduction of the 10-year extension will take place after the Houseways and Means Commission has passed a 4-year extension of taxes as part of the budget adjustment bill. The 10-year extension will adequately address the fund’s bankruptcy outlined in May 2018 Government Accountability Office ReportThis indicates that after fiscal year 2020, the fund will not have sufficient income to cover beneficiary payments and administrative costs. The report found that the tax rate would need to be raised by 25% to eliminate trust fund debt by fiscal year 2050. As coal production declines, it is becoming more and more important beyond the sales tax extension.Tax revenue has decreased by more than 20% 2020 compared to Revenue collected in 2018..

“We thank Senator Manchin, Senator Brown, Senator Kane, Senator Casey, and Senator Warner for their leadership on this important issue. Without this bill, the Black Lung Consumption Tax would generate revenue for the Trust Fund. The tax rate will be reduced by 50% at the end of the year, “said Rebecca Shelton, director of policy organization at the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center. “We know that excise tax extensions are not the only measure needed to address the solvency of a fund, but that is an important first step and we work with all these senators. We look forward to long-term development. Long-term solution. ”

“It is important that Congress act by the end of the year to ensure the long-term solvency of trust funds by including this tax extension in the budget adjustment bill. Coal miners across the country have been in centuries. Throughout, we have sacrificed their health and their lives to empower our country. Ensuring the long-term benefits of these health and disabilities must be a priority. This bill is an important step forward, “said Chelsea Barnes, Legal Director of Appalachian Voices.

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Pending tax rate changes to support coal mine workers injured by “black lung” disease | Nationwide

Source link Pending tax rate changes to support coal mine workers injured by “black lung” disease | Nationwide

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