Iowa congressman wants to give you a DTV tax credit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa congressman wants to give you a DTV tax credit

Washington, DC (KWWL) -- An Iowa Congressman wants people to get a tax credit to help them with the conversion to digital television.

On Wednesday. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) introduced a bill called The DTV Converter Box Rebate Act. It would allow Americans to claim a one-time refundable tax credit of up to $80 on their 2009 federal income taxes to help defray the cost of purchasing a converter box for the digital TV transition.    

Braley's bill would complement the existing DTV coupon program, which provides up to two coupons of $40 for households needing to purchase converter boxes to continue receiving over-the-air television after the transition on February 17th.  Funding for the coupon program has run out, leaving over one million unassisted households on a coupon waiting list.  This number is expected to rise to as much as 5 million by February if the situation is not addressed.

"The digital transition has been plagued by problems," Braley said. 

"This bill is about fairness and keeping promises.  If someone wants to buy a converter box without waiting for a coupon, they can get the equipment they need and still be assured they will receive the help they were promised by the government," said Braley.

Nielsen estimated this month that up to 6.9 million households-6% of all homes with a television-still hadn't upgraded any of their TVs for the digital transition.

The government has made about $19 billion auctioning radio spectrum in advance of the transition, but only provided $1.34 billion to fund the converter box coupon program.

Online Producer:  JJ Murray

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