Updated: January 22, 2021 06:28 PM
Created: January 22, 2021 04:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A state lawmaker wants to give back to health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities.
Rep. Anthony Allison, a Democrat, is sponsoring House Bill 104, which would expand the Rural Health Care Practitioner Tax Credit to nurses, midwives and other professionals providing care to patients with COVID-19.
If the bill passes, they would be eligible for a $3,000 income tax rebate.
"We all appreciate what they have done for us, and we say that we appreciate them, but we do not really show them our appreciation," Allison said. "I feel that the merits of my legislation will reward them in some small way. Instead of just talking about it let's do something about it."
A tax credit of $5,000 is currently available for health professionals like doctors, dentists, and psychologists who work in rural areas. It's $3,000 for dental hygienists and physicians assistants.
Allison says it's time for it to be expanded.
"Having experience with registered nurses and doctors, I know how much work they do, and I think they deserve all the credit that's outlined for them in the bill," he said.
Allison says his bill would encourage nurses and other health care workers currently not eligible for the tax credit to work in rural and underserved communities around the state.
"I hope this bill helps them decide to stay longer so that they can continue their practice helping the majority of our rural communities," he said.
There's a similar bill being proposed by another lawmaker that would expand the tax credit to pharmacists, social workers and certain behavioral health therapists.
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