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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

Clean Start: Back to Work Legislation

COVID-19 is impacting every American. This pandemic has forced businesses to close and left millions out of work. As businesses prepare to reopen across the country, protecting the health of American workers and customers is of paramount importance. Congress has already enacted four bipartisan bills to combat COVID-19 and to help our fellow citizens weather the economic and employment disruption this public health crisis has spawned. Nevertheless, more bipartisan congressional action is necessary in order to ensure that our communities and our constituents are safe.

That's why Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) have introduced the Clean Start: Back to Work tax credit legislation to enable businesses to properly disinfect their workplaces and keep workers and customers safe. 

Why is this needed?

According to health experts, COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for days if those surfaces are not adequately disinfected. In their published guidance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emphasize that “reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning.” Many businesses lack the money, expertise, cleaning products, or trained personnel to disinfect for COVID-19 properly, however. 

The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association estimates that cleaning costs associated with COVID-19 will be at least 50 percent higher than they were prior to the pandemic. This figure could be even higher for certain businesses with a greater risk of exposure or a higher percentage of at-risk individuals.

The last thing we want is for businesses to reopen only to have to shut down again because of an outbreak of COVID-19 cases within their operation. Given the financial hardships many businesses are facing, the Clean Start: Back to Work legislation will give businesses the tools they need to keep workers and customers safe as we begin to reopen. 

What is the Clean Start: Back to Work legislation?

The Clean Start Back to Work legislation will offer businesses a temporary tax credit to help offset the increased costs of cleaning and disinfecting their workspaces. 

The credit can be applied to the expense of existing custodial/janitorial staff or an external cleaning service company. The credit may also be used for or in combination with training staff and the purchase of necessary cleaning and disinfection products, tools, machinery, personal protective equipment, and other sanitary-related equipment.

Each business entity will be eligible for a 50% tax credit of up to $25,000, per location, up to a maximum of $250,000 per business entity.

The credit can be applied toward expenses made before March 31, 2021.

Groups supporting the Clean Start: Back to Work legislation

Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association’s (ISSA)
National Pest Management Association
Professional Beauty Association
Building Owners and Managers Association International
American Hotel and Lodging Association
Asian American Hotel Owners Association
Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association
International Franchise Association
National Restaurant Association
North American Meat Institute
U.S. Travel Association
National Grocers Association
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association
International Council of Shopping Centers
Sherwin-Williams
Household and Commercial Products Association
American Car Rental Association
Personal Care Products Council
National Association of Theatre Owners
National Association of Convenience Stores
National Independent Venue Association
Building Service Contractors Association International
Compass Group USA

More info:

Press release: Reps. LaHood, Murphy Introduce Clean Start Legislation to Keep Workers and Customers Safe as Businesses Reopen

Reps. LaHood and Murphy Op-Ed: Encouraging a safe business environment can help drive America's recovery

Ways and Means Committee hearing: Rep. LaHood | Ways and Means Hearing on Tax Relief in Response to COVID-19

ISSA Webinar: Rep. LaHood | Clean Start: Back to Work Webinar with ISSA

Infographic: ISSA: Why We Need the Clean Start Tax Credit

America Action Forum: The Daily Dish: Safely Opening the Economy