The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a $15 billion jobs bill, a measure that includes provisions supported by the National Restaurant Association. The bill includes a payroll tax holiday and tax credit for employers who hire and retain certain employees who have been unemployed for more than 60 days.
 
Under the Hire Now Tax Cut provision, employers would be given a holiday from paying their share of the new employee's Social Security tax for the remainder of the year. If the employee remains with the company for at least 52 weeks, the employor could claim a $1,000 tax credit on its 2011 tax return. The bill also includes an extension of the temporary increase in the annual amount of expensing of certain depreciable assets for small businesses from $125,000 to $250,000.
 
Before the bill was approved, the NRA also encouraged senators to extend the 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements/new construction, leasehold improvements, and retail improvements, as well as to increase the deduction for business meals and entertainment from 50 to 80 percent. Those amendments were not approved.
 
The bill now moves to the House, where it is expected to move rapidly through for approval, according to The Philadelphia Enquirer.

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