Senator Romney released a proposal that will give essential workers temporary bonuses as they continue to work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the so-called “Patriot Pay” plan, essential workers earning less than $50,000 a year would receive a temporary bonus of up to $12 per hour during the months of May, June, and July. A quarter of the bonus is to be paid by the employer, and the rest by a federal refundable payroll tax credit. Depending on their income, workers earning $50,000 to $90,000 would get smaller tax credits. Romney said that the plan would also help provide essential workers in critical industries—designated by the Department of Labor and Congress—with greater compensation than the unemployment insurance rate*.
Romney’s Patriot Pay proposal outlines the following*:
How Would Patriot Pay Work?
- For essential employees that make less than $50,000 annualized, employers would receive a 75% refundable payroll tax credit for a bonus up to $12 an hour.
- For essential employees making over $50,000 annualized, the tax credit phases out by $24 for every additional $500 in income until annualized incomes hit $90,000.
- The maximum tax credit is $1,440 per month, per employee, meaning a full-time worker would receive up to a $1,920 monthly bonus.
Who Would Qualify for the Tax Credit?
- Congress and the Department of Labor would designate critical industries including, but not limited to, hospitals, food distributors and processors, and health manufacturers.
- Eligible employers will certify that an employee worked in conditions that increased their potential COVID-19 exposure.
- Eligible employers would qualify for tax credits for employee bonuses provided between May 1 and July 31, 2020. Employees must work at least 100 hours each month they receive the bonus for their wages to be eligible for the tax credit.
The proposal is said to be included in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package to be passed by Congress.
Last April, Senate Democrats released a “Heroes Fund” proposal to give up to $25,000 to essential employees including health care workers, first responders, law enforcement, clerks and delivery workers.