ICYMI – Staten Island Advance – Inflation Reduction Act: Here’s How It’s Expected To Save You Money
In Case You Missed It, a must-read piece in Tuesday’s Staten Island Advance details for readers how the Inflation Reduction Act is expected to save New Yorkers money.
Notes, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer:
“The Inflation Reduction Act will be a turning point for our country, and it was written with the people of New York always front of mind. Our bill reduces inflation, lowers costs, creates millions of good-paying jobs, and is the boldest climate package in U.S. history—and New York State and New Yorkers are primed to reap the harvest of these investments and cost savings.”
We strongly encourage New Yorkers and residents of New York’s 11th Congressional District, in particular, to learn about how the Inflation Reduction Act will save them money, be it at the pharmacy, on their energy bills, or on their health insurance premiums. Assuming, of course, that the US House passes the “once-in-a-generation” legislation on Friday.
With so much at stake, New York City’s Congressional delegation must vote Friday in favor of the Inflation Reduction Act, transformative action that will help unrig our economy by combating corporate greed, making wealthy corporations pay their fair share in taxes, and reducing costs for working people.
Unrig Our Economy NYC Campaign
Inflation Reduction Act: Here’s how it’s expected to save you money
Staten Island Advance
By Giavanni Alves | [email protected]
Published: Aug. 09, 2022
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Inflation Reduction Act is being touted as the nation’s largest investment toward combating climate change and a game-changer saving Americans money across numerous sectors, including health care and utilities.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer celebrated the win on Monday, referring to the legislation as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity.”
“After more than a year of hard work—the Senate made history and I am confident the Inflation Reduction Act will endure as one of the defining legislative feats of the 21st Century. Our bill reduces inflation, lowers costs, creates millions of good-paying jobs, and is the boldest climate package in U.S. history—and New York State and New Yorkers are primed to reap the harvest of these investments and costs savings,” Schumer said in a statement.
“The Inflation Reduction Act will be a turning point for our country, and it was written with the people of New York always at front of mind. It will help our seniors afford their medication; it will lower costs for working families; it will create thousands good-paying jobs producing American-made clean energy; it will clean up our environments; and close tax loopholes that have tilted the scale against working people,” the senator added.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also released a statement commending the bill’s passage.
“Today, Democrats continued their streak of delivering big for the American people. In just the past few weeks, Democrats have delivered the first bipartisan gun safety package in decades, a major expansion of health care for our nation’s veterans, innovative legislation to combat the semiconductor shortage, growing job numbers, and the lowest unemployment rate we’ve seen in 50 years, and now we have passed the Inflation Reduction Act through the Senate,” she said.
“The Inflation Reduction Act was written and passed for working people and working families. Now it’s time for the House to pass this bill and send it to President Biden’s desk for him to sign into law,” Gillibrand added.
In his announcement, Schumer highlighted some of the bill’s provisions, which include:
INVESTING IN CLEAN ENERGY JOBS
The legislation includes various grant and loan programs to promote manufacturing and research related to clean energy, such as:
- An estimated $30 billion in production tax credits to accelerate U.S. manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, clean hydrogen and critical minerals processing; and an additional $10 billion in investment tax credits to build clean technology manufacturing facilities.
- $20 billion in loans to build new clean vehicle manufacturing facilities across the country.
- $2 billion in grants to retool existing auto manufacturing facilities to produce clean vehicles.
- $2 billion for National Labs to accelerate breakthrough energy research.
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITIES
Environmental justice-focused provisions to address pollution and preserve the environment include:
- Two new environmental justice block grants providing funding to reconnect communities, including $3 billion for Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants, and $3 billion for Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants to help address the disproportionate environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change.
- $1.5 billion investment nationwide to plant trees, establish community and urban forests and expand green spaces in cities thereby increasing recreation opportunities, cooling cities, lowering electric bills, and reducing heat-related death and illness.
- Reinstating the Superfund tax, so that Superfund sites across New York have a guaranteed source of funding, paid for by the companies responsible for the pollution.
- $3 billion for grants to reduce pollution at ports, like the Port of New York and New Jersey, to combat poor air quality in nearby communities, as well as targeted funding for the vehicles moving goods to and from New York’s ports.
- $2.6 billion to conserve, restore, and protect marine and coastal habitats, including funding for marine mammals and fisheries stock assessments.
REDUCING UTILITY COSTS
The Inflation Reduction Act includes various home energy rebates and consumer tax credits to incentivize individuals to choose clean energy, such as:
- Two new clean vehicle tax credits – one for new vehicles and one for used – to lower upfront costs of clean vehicles.
- A revamped energy efficiency tax credit to help cover upfront costs of energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in homes.
- An expanded tax credit for solar panels and battery backup systems to reduce the cost of solar panels installations on roofs and battery backup systems in homes, increasing energy independence and lowering monthly bills.
- A more targeted clean vehicle infrastructure tax credit will deploy charging and refueling stations in rural and low-income communities and in homes.
- New federal funding for state-run home efficiency programs, with an emphasis on helping low- and moderate-income individuals, ensuring those most sensitive to changing energy prices are better protected.
- A new funding stream focused on bolstering resilience, energy and water efficiency for affordable housing.
- Landmark funding for the NY Green Bank will deploy massive amounts of clean building technologies, distribute clean electricity, and clean vehicle infrastructure across the state, with an emphasis on disadvantaged communities.
LOWERING THE COST OF HEALTHCARE
The bill is expected to reduce healthcare costs for more than 3.7 million New Yorkers, according to Schumer’s office by:
- Empowering Medicare to begin negotiating directly for the price of prescription drugs, directly lowering what people pay for those drugs, including for conditions like cancer, COPD, asthma, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Capping Medicare patients’ out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year, protecting nearly 75,000 New Yorkers every single year from exorbitant drug costs if they get a major diagnosis, like cancer, for the drugs they need to live.
- Ensuring that Medicare patients pay no more than $35 per month for insulin.
- Requiring drug companies to rebate back to Medicare any price increases greater than inflation.
- Expanding premium and co-pay assistance on prescription drugs for low-income individuals.
- Putting more financial responsibility on insurance and drug companies to maintain low prices.
- Extending higher premium assistance to more low- and middle-income individuals enrolled under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
TAXING BILLION-DOLLAR COMPANIES
The Inflation Reduction Act will also close loopholes that have allowed billion dollar corporations to get away with paying less than they should in taxes.
- A 15% corporate minimum tax ensuring that the 200 or so large companies who strategically game the tax system to pay little or no federal corporate income taxes will be required to pay their fair share.
- A 1% tax on stock buybacks over $1 million, to incentivize companies to invest in their workforce and development, rather than prioritizing shareholder stock value.
- Funding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to go after tax cheats, which the IRS hasn’t had the resources to tackle for years. The IRS will be able to ensure that wealthy tax dodgers won’t be able to rip off the American people any longer. The law includes a stipulation ensuring that additional tax enforcement should not be targeted at individuals earning $400,000 or less.