U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud introduced two bills on Friday to help Americans to better prepare for the future, according to a news release from his office.
The bills Cloud introduced are the Emergency Savings Account Act and the Small Business Emergency Savings Account Act, according to the release.
The first bill would provide individual taxpayers with the ability to save up to $5,000 per year by making tax free contributions to an emergency savings account. A married couple would be able to save up to $10,000, the release said. The second bill would provide small businesses with the ability to save up to 25% of their payroll expenses tax free in an emergency savings account.
With these new emergency savings accounts, individuals would be able to deposit and withdraw money from that account tax free when they use it for qualified expenses, such as mortgages, rent, utilities, property taxes, child care and health care, the release said. The funds could be used to deal with loss of income caused by a public health emergency or to prepare for and recover from a natural disaster.
Much like the Paycheck Protection Program, small businesses would also be able to cover wages, rent, health care, and utilities in a public health emergency or for expenses related to a natural disaster.
"The coronavirus pandemic has caused disastrous economic impacts. Despite borrowing and spending trillions of federal dollars to provide direct financial assistance to the American people, many families still find themselves in precarious financial positions," Cloud said in the release. "My bills would encourage a culture of savings in our country by making it easier to be financially prepared."