WASHINGTON, DC—Lead sponsors Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) were joined by eight co-sponsors in reintroducing Hearing Aid Tax Credit legislation into the Congress on March 21. These and other sponsors will work to ensure that the measure is considered during the 113th Congress, one in which major federal tax reform is likely.
This year’s bill, HR 1317, differs somewhat from similar measures introduced in previous sessions of congress in that the tax credit would be available to hearing aid purchasers of any age. Previous bills would have applied only to children and people 55 and older.
If the proposed bi-partisan legislation is enacted, it will provide a $500 tax credit per hearing aid purchased. The credit would be available every five years.
HEARING CARE COMMUNITY LOBBIES
A few weeks before the measure was re-introduced, the Hearing Industries Association (HIA) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) rallied support for it at HIA’s biennial Hearing on the Hill.
HIA and HLAA members formed teams to meet with over 80 members of the House and Senate and staffers to lobby for passage of HR 1317 and a companion bill in the Senate. Joining them were members of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Society and the International Hearing Society.
Andrew Bopp, HIA’s director of government relations, said, “Public support and House/Senate co-sponsorship are crucial to the tax credit’s passage. We urge all consumers and hearing professionals to contact their Congressional Representatives in support of the Hearing Aid Tax Credit.”
Voters can send a message to their representatives by going to a web site created for this purpose by the Better Hearing Institute.