Economic Recovery Plan

We all know our economy is on the rocks.  Many of our neighbors are beginning to feel the pinch of a recession.  For many months, we all have been frustrated to see the government bail out Wall Street banks and private companies, while those of us who play by the rules are footing the bill.  Because Congressman Matheson believes it is time for average Americans to see some well-deserved relief come their way, he voted in Congress for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  This policy was the first of its kind to offer a balanced, common sense approach to boosting our ailing economy.  It cuts taxes for Utahns and small businesses and creates jobs by investing in construction projects in our state.   What’s most encouraging is our state is already beginning to see the results of the effort.

Where can I read about the economic recovery plan?

Read a complete summary of the recovery package here

Read the full text of the legislation here

How can I track where the money goes and how it is managed?

The recovery bill contains no "earmarks" and requires that every dollar spent be posted publicly on the web. Go to for timelines for state and local governments to report the use of funds, and the impact the recovery plan is having on community investments and jobs.

The State of Utah also has a website tracking the use of stimulus funds: This site allows Utah residents to review the use of funds allocated to the state through the recovery package and suggest projects for stimulus funding.

How does the recovery package affect me?

Tax cut for 95 percent of Americans

  • The Making Work Pay tax cut is a rebate on your payroll taxes and will provide up to $400 for individuals and $800 for middle-class families, and will start appearing as reduced withholding on your paycheck in April.

Social Security/Disability credit

  • The package provides a payment of $250 to SSI recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement beneficiaries, and disabled veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  

Help to maintain family health insurance between jobs

  • A provision of the bill will provide a 65 percent subsidy to help families between jobs cover the cost of their COBRA health insurance.

College tuition tax credit

  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides a tax credit of up to $2,500.

Homebuyers tax credit

  • This provision helps first-time homebuyers and strengthens the housing market by enhancing the current credit for first-time home purchases.

Car buying tax credit

  • The package offers incentives to buy new cars, including light trucks and SUVs, with a tax deduction for state and local sales taxes paid on the purchase.

Energy efficient investments tax credit

  • This tax credit encourages energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.

What jobs will this create or save in my community?

Creating and saving small business jobs

  • The package includes an increase in tax write-offs for capital expenses, to encourage companies to invest in equipment that can grow their business.
  • Also, the recovery package provides for an extension of tax provisions to retroactively spread out this year’s losses and avoid layoffs. Under present law, businesses with a net-operating loss this year may amend their tax filings to carry that loss back two years to offset taxable income in such years, so they can "smooth out" swings in business income. A provision in the recovery bill extends that to five years, so that otherwise strong businesses suffering under the recession can get a retroactive tax rebate to maintain their staffing levels.

Saving teacher and police jobs

  • The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund provides $8.8 billion to states for high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, including education.  Also, $39.5 billion is allocated to be distributed to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school modernization, or other purposes. 
  • The recovery package designates $4 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.

Generating construction and design jobs immediately

  • Infrastructure spending will not only improve our roads and bridges, it will put our friends and neighbors back to work soon.  States are required to obligate at least half of the highway/bridge funding within 120 days, so we will see improvements in the community and job market quickly.

Creating new health IT jobs

  • The recovery package provides funding to implement electronic medical records, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the information technology sector. 

Developing green jobs for the 21st century

  • The recovery act creates more than 1 million next-generation green energy jobs nationwide with investment in development of new innovative energy sources.

How does the recovery package impact my community?

Roads, bridges, and mass transit improvements

  • Here in Utah, we will see $221 million for modernization of highways and bridges.  This money will be spent on 136 "shovel ready" projects throughout the state.  The recovery package also includes $53 million in transit grants for Utah.
  • You can read more about eligible infrastructure projects in Utah here

Education funding

  • Schools grades K-12 and colleges will receive $96 million for school modernization, pell and other grants, and educational technology.
  • Job training programs will also receive $15 million.

Law enforcement support

  • The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Recovery Program provides funding directly to law enforcement agencies to create and preserve jobs and to increase their community policing capacity and crime-prevention efforts.  Up to $1 billion in grant funding will be available for the hiring and rehiring of additional career law enforcement officers. 

Healthcare benefits

  • Poor and disabled Utahns will be helped by $293.5 million in additional Medicaid funding over nine quarters.

Water infrastructure

  • The recovery package allocates $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments, creating jobs while improving our communities.
  • It specifically includes $32 million to build and repair wastewater systems in Utah and $20 million for culinary water systems.

Environmental cleanup

  • Hundreds of millions of dollars are set aside for cleanup of radioactive waste, for sites such as the Moab tailings pile in Utah.

Energy improvements

  • Nationally, $6.9 billion is set aside for state and local energy efficiency grants.

Other benefits

  • Tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits will also help Utahns.

I’m a local official – how can I get stimulus money for my community?

  • Check for stimulus funding opportunities.  If you apply for a grant program, you may want to contact our District Office in Salt Lake City at 801-486-1236 to inquire about a letter of support.
  • Contact our District Office to make sure we have your correct contact information should additional information become available.  Our staff will make every effort to make sure our local officials have the information they need.