AARP Nebraska is backing a $500 state income tax credit proposal for those who take care of a family member or friend.
Advocacy Director Mark Intermill says the projected $12.5 million annual cost is far below what the state would pay for hospital or nursing home care. He estimates the state would have to pay about $60 million for hospital or nursing home care.
“(Caregivers) take on some financial responsibilities as well as just giving of their time and their willingness to provide service to their loved one,” Intermill says. “We would love to see some sort of recognition on the part of the State of Nebraska that caregivers are providing a valuable service.”
Caregivers would have to be in that role for at least six months and meet certain income levels to be eligible for the proposed tax credit.
Legislative Bill 470 was first introduced last session, but did not receive a vote in the Revenue Committee.
With the projected cost and the current state budget situation, Intermill admits the timing is not the best.
“But I still think it’s worth raising the issue to make sure the policymakers understand the value of the service that caregivers are providing,” he says.
A recent survey AARP commissioned found 83% of respondents support providing a state income tax credit to family caregivers who incur expenses for the care and support of an older family member living with them.