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Congress considers tax credit for vacation travel

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Hoping to give the travel and tourism industry a boost, a bipartisan group of lawmakers Thursday introduced a bill to encourage Americans to resume travel.

The Travel America Now Act would give a tax credit for personal and vacation travel for trips more than 100 miles from home. The credit would be up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for couples.

All travel expenses could be used toward the credit, including plane, bus and train tickets; gasoline; hotel, restaurant, entertainment expenses; travel agency and tour fees and all applicable taxes.

"The events of September 11th have devastated the travel industry more than any other segment of the economy, and the situation will worsen until Americans resume travel," said Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz. "As one of the country's largest employers, the travel and tourism industry's health closely connects to the state of the overall national economy."

The tax credit would only be available for travel expenses incurred from the time the bill becomes law to December 31, 2001.

Kyl estimated the legislation could cost roughly $10 billion and would be part of a broader economic stimulus package.

Business travel expenses would not count toward the credit but Kyl is proposing that business travelers be allowed to fully deduct the cost of meals and entertainment for their trips.


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