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Representative Darin LaHood

Representing the 18th District of Illinois

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

May 29, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) introduced the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit legislation that would create a temporary tax credit available for businesses to make sure their entities are properly cleaned as stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, protecting both workers and customers. The Clean Start tax credit would help offset increased costs of cleaning and disinfection needed to combat COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is impacting every American,” said Rep. LaHood. “As stay-at-home orders begin to ease, businesses and workers are prepared to take unprecedented measures to get their livelihoods back on track. Getting folks back to work is essential to reinvigorating our economy, but it’s critical that we ensure the safety of workers and customers to prevent additional outbreaks. This bipartisan legislation will ensure that businesses can take extra precautions during this uncertain time and keep our communities safe.”

“As our economy begins to gradually re-open, responsible business owners will want to do everything possible to safeguard their workers and customers from COVID-19.  I am proud to join Congressman LaHood in proposing a temporary tax credit to help businesses afford cleaning services and supplies, which will protect public health and spur economic activity,” said Rep. Murphy.     

There is significant research demonstrating that COVID-19 survives on surfaces for days unless properly cleaned and disinfected. As a result, the combination of properly trained and certified cleaning personnel and cleaning products are critical in helping prevent the further spread of this virus when businesses are permitted to reopen. Experts have also estimated that increased cleaning costs associated with COVID-19 are 50 percent greater than they normally would be. This number could be even greater for specialized facilities such as nursing homes or healthcare facilities.

Many businesses lack expertise, products, or trained personnel to properly disinfect for COVID-19. The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit would be available for businesses to apply towards the expense of industry-recognized training and certification, contracting a cleaning company and/or the purchase of necessary cleaning products, tools, machinery, personal protective equipment, and other sanitary-related equipment needed to help ensure a safe and sanitary environment.

Each business entity including but not limited franchisors or franchisees, and commercial property owners and management companies 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.

Eligible expenses must be made by March 31, 2021 to help offset increased expenses associated with a potential “second wave” during the fall or winter.

A coalition of business organizations hailed the introduction of the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit.

“We thank Representatives LaHood and Murphy and our association partners for joining ISSA in supporting this commonsense proposal to ensure businesses can provide a safe and sanitary environment for their workers and customers,” said John H. Barrett, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association’s (ISSA) Executive Director. “ISSA looks forward to continuing to work with members of the House and Senate to pass a bipartisan stimulus package that includes the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit to give Americans the confidence and peace of mind to safely get back to work and revitalize our economy.”

“Businesses are looking for help and support to reopen. Their employees and customers want assurances that their facility is safe. By offering this tax credit this will encourage American business to have their buildings prepared and  will allow people to re-entry into a safe environment. I commend Congressmen LaHood and Murphy to for helping businesses and taking on this initiative,” said Matt Vonachen CEO of Vonachen Group a Building Service Contractor, in Peoria, Illinois, and the Building Service Contractor Director for the ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association).

“Making people feel comfortable going places is the best way for the economy to get back to something that resembles normal, investing in cleaning and disinfection is the best way to make people feel comfortable,” said Paul Senecal, CBSE, Managing Partner of United Services of America/AffinEco, LLC, an ISSA-member company based in Illinois. “This tax credit will encourage more business to invest in cleaning and disinfection.”

“This Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit is a great way to protect public health and provide support to businesses across the country,” said Dominique Stumpf, CEO of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a signatory organization on the letter. “NPMA members are eager to help businesses reopen safely and support this tax credit as a way to ease the cost of doing so.”

“We are grateful to Representatives Darin LaHood and Stephanie Murphy for the introduction of the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act,” said Myra Y. Irizarry Reddy, Government Affairs Director of the Professional Beauty Association, which also signed-on to the letter. “Members of the Professional Beauty Association have a heightened sensitivity to properly disinfecting the salon workspace due to their mandatory educational training. Our licensed beauty professionals are investing heavily in PPE supplies and EPA approved disinfectants to ensure the safety of their clients. This credit would provide much needed assistance to help our small business owners with the additional unanticipated costs to maintain a clean salon environment amid this COVID pandemic.”

"As our tenants and customers come back to work, the number one concern building owners and managers have is their safety and health. This tax credit will help ensure that commercial, industrial and other related facilities have the resources they need to comply with increased cleaning measures, protocols and equipment, even during difficult economic times. BOMA International applauds Representatives LaHood and Murphy for his forward thinking and pragmatic view of our reentry process as we bring America back to work." - Henry H. Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE, President and Chief Operating Officer, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International.

The legislation is also supported by:

  • 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

Full text of the legislation can be read here.