Fischer Tours Appeara, Promotes Paid Family Leave Tax Credit

NORFOLK — US Senator Deb Fischer and management at Norfolk’s Appeara are all coming away enlightened after a visit and tour on Thursday.

The Republican senator toured the textile rental company’s facility and discussed topics including NAFTA, tax changes and specifics about the company.

Fischer says she was excited to see an old family business where everything in the plant is new.

“Where you have computers that can read individual identification on pieces of clothing and be able to bring them all together in the end was fascinating,” Fischer said.

As far as the conversations about the new federal tax plan, Fischer says she thinks it will provide individuals and families with relief.

“I think people are going to see on their paychecks now that they’re going to have more take-home pay.  We’re going to have those withholding tables change,” Fischer said.  “People who are going to be getting paychecks here in February and March – they’re going to see a change in that as well. ”

Fischer also took time to promote her paid family leave plan, which was included in the tax plan.  The program applies to workers earning less than $72,000 a year… If employers cover at least 50 percent of their wages during family leave time, the employer would now be eligible to receive a tax credit equal to 12.5 percent to 25 percent of the amount it pays the worker.

Fischer says she made it a two-year pilot program to see if it’s enough of an incentive to make more companies offer paid family leave.

“I want businesses here in Nebraska to take it up,” Fischer said.  “I want to get some data on this so that we can show that it works.”

Appears President Bob Dudley likes the idea.  His company is in its first year of offering paid maternity leave and says this is added incentive to see what the exposure could be.

“It’s something we should be looking at,” Dudley said.  “We believe in a growing family and a growing America and… we don’t want to penalize them for growing a family.”

Fischer says the Department of the Treasury is sorting through the rules and regulations of the program and hopes to have it ready soon.

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