Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008
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The Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008 (H.R. 6049) was a bill in the 110th Congress "to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes." (Official title.)
- Extends the renewable energy tax credit by one year for new wind facilities (Sec. 101).
- Extends the renewable energy tax credit by 3 years for new qualified closed-loop or open-loop biomass facilities, geothermal or solar energy facilities, small irrigation power facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash combustion facilities, and qualified hydropower facilities (Sec. 101).
- Designates marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy as being qualified energy resources eligible for the renewable energy tax credit (Sec. 102).
- Extends for 6 years the 30 percent energy tax credit for qualified fuel cell property and solar energy property and the 10 percent credit for microturbine property (Sec. 103).
- Extends the tax credit for certain new residential "energy efficient" property for 6 years and raises the total tax credit for new solar electric property from $2,000 to $4,000 (Sec. 104).
- Extends the research tax credit, restaurant property depreciation tax credits, and optional state sales tax deductions for one year (Sec. 221, 225, 201).
- Extends tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel used as fuel for one year, and raises the biodiesel credits and biodiesel mixture credits from 50 cents per gallon to $1 per gallon (Sec. 122).
- Provides an additional standard deduction for real property taxes for non-itemizers of up to $350 or $700 for a joint return (Sec. 301).
- Increases the child tax credit for low-income parents (Sec. 302).
- Delays tax code provisions that would allow companies to allocate interest on a worldwide basis for 10 years (Sec. 402).
- Mandates that compensation deferred under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan of a foreign corporation shall be includible in gross income in the absence of a substantial risk of forfeiture of rights to such compensation (Sec. 401).
On May 21 2008, the House considered a motion to recommit the bill with instructions for the Committee on Ways and Means.
The League of Conservation Voters, in its 2008 House scorecard, opposed this motion to recommit, and gave the vote the following description:
H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, as reported by the Ways and Means Committee, extended the tax credits for wind and other renewable energies by one year, while also renewing several important research and development tax credits, and renewing the commercial and residential energy efficiency tax credits. This package was supported by over two hundred business, environmental, and utility groups. The tax credits would be paid for by delaying new interest allocation rules for multinational companies and changing the rules for taxing deferred compensation. Opponents maintained that loopholes closed by the bill amounted to tax increases. Representative McCrery (R-LA) sought to send the bill back to Committee with instructions that it be reported back without the offsets. Because conservative House Democrats would have resisted such a bill, this move was tantamount to killing the bill. The motion to recommit was rejected 201-220 (House roll call vote 343) on May 21. NO is the pro-environment vote.
The same day, the House passed the bill by a vote of 263-160.
The League of Conservation Voters, in its 2008 House scorecard, supported passage, and gave the vote the following description:
"After the effort to weaken the bill failed, the bill passed 263-160 (House roll call vote 344). YES is the pro-environment vote. Congress finally extended the tax credits in early October."
Sens. Max Baucus and Sen. Charles Grassley proposed an amendment to extend tax credits for research.Information Technology Industry Council, which supported the bill, selected the vote for its 2007 Senate scorecard, where it gave the following description:
Legislation included provisions to extend and expand the research and development tax credit for two years. 
The Senate failed to invoke cloture and end debate on the bill.
The League of Conservation Voters, who supported the energy tax credits in the bill, supported cloture and included the vote in their 2008 Senate Scorecard, where they gave it the following description:
A broad coalition of businesses, construction companies, environmental organizations, investors, labor groups, trade associations and utilities agree that the single most effective measure to increase the use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency is to extend and expand the present set of clean energy tax credits that are due to expire at the end of 2008. Energy experts maintain that extending the credits could save as many as 117,000 existing jobs and generate an additional $19 billion in domestic clean energy investment.
On June 17, the Senate voted to move forward on H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008, which had passed the House on May 21 by a margin of 263-160. This bill would have extended dozens of expired or soon-to-expire tax provisions for one year, including tax credits for research, investment in solar and fuel cells, and the production tax credit for wind and other renewable energy sources. The tax credits would be offset by closing various corporate loopholes.
The majority of Senate Republicans maintained that there was no need to offset — pay for — extending existing tax credits, calling that move tantamount to a tax increase. In contrast, many conservative House Democrats insisted that all tax credits be fully paid for — a position the House leadership subsequently adopted.
The Drum Major Institute, which supported the bill's energy tax credits, supported cloture and selected the vote for its 2008 Senate scorecard, where it gave the following description:
There is increasing evidence that the economy faces a high risk of recession which could throw millions of middle-class Americans out of work, reduce income and health insurance coverage, and increase poverty. A smart economic stimulus plan could prevent the downturn or soften its effects. To be effective, an economic stimulus package must direct money to those who will spend it quickly, boosting consumer demand and prompting increased production and economic growth. For this reason, the household tax rebates are likely to be effective, if the checks can be sent quickly. The rebates are targeted to cash-strapped middle-class and aspiring middle-class Americans who are more likely than wealthier people to spend the money they receive immediately, rather than saving it. It is also important that Americans relying on Social Security or disability benefits are included, both as an issue of basic fairness and because these groups are likely to spend their rebates quickly. The business tax cuts are less positive for the middle class because they provide little simulative effect but would deprive the public of significant revenue and increase deficits. Offering tax incentives for business investment frequently fails to generate substantial economic growth because many businesses use the tax cuts for investments they already planned to undertake anyway, costing the public lost revenue but creating no additional economic activity. Another drawback is that it takes considerable time for businesses to make new investments and for investments to result in increased employment or purchasing. Yet to be most effective economic stimulus should have a rapid impact on the economy. Finally, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that business incentives harm state budgets, since state and federal tax codes are linked. Many states are already facing a revenue crunch due to the economic downturn and, unlike the federal government, they cannot run budget deficits. The result could be cuts in state and local services that middle-class Americans rely on, from education to road maintenance to public safety.
On September 23, 2008, the Senate passed the bill as amended by a vote of 93-2.
- A. O. Smith Corporation
- Abbott Laboratories
- Advanced Micro Devices
- Advantage Capital Partners
- Agilent Technologies, Inc.
- Air Conditioning Contractors of America
- Air Products and Chemicals
- Alliance to Save Energy
- Alliant Energy Corporation
- Altria Group
- America Public Power Association
- American Express Company
- American Institute of Architects
- American International Group
- American Wind Energy Association
- Association of Educational Publishers
- AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
- BAE Systems
- Bank of America
- Batesville Tool & Die
- Biogen Idec
- Bommer Industries
- Borel Private Bank & Trust Company
- Cabot Fuel Cells
- Case New Holland
- Caterpillar Inc.
- Chrysler LLC
- Chubb Corporation
- Cisco Systems
- Citigroup, Inc.
- Click Bond
- Coca-Cola Company
- Devine Tarbell & Associates
- Dow Chemical Company
- Duke Energy Corporation
- Edison Electric Institute
- Empire Broadcasting
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Exelon Corporation
- Extol International
- Florida Power & Light Company
- Ford Motor Company
- Fredon Corporation
- Fresh Energy
- FuelCell Energy
- GE Energy
- General Electric
- General Motors Corp.
- Genworth Financial
- Gilead Sciences
- Goldman Sachs
- Griffin Realty Advisors
- Harley-Davidson Motor Company
- i2 Technologies
- IBM Corporation
- Independent Sector
- Intel Corporation
- JDS Uniphase Corporation
- Johnson & Johnson
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Key Bank
- KPMG LLP
- LibraryWorld, Inc
- Lincoln Financial
- Lockheed Martin
- Louis Dreyfus
- Maxim Integrated Products
- McCormick & Company
- Merck & Co., Inc.
- Merrill Lynch
- Mitsubishi Electric
- Monsanto Company
- Mortenson Construction
- National Association of Manufacturers
- National Biodiesel Board
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association
- National Hydropower Association
- National Retail Federation
- National School Supply and Equipment Association
- National Wildlife Federation
- New Leaf Paper
- News Corporation
- North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
- Northrop Grumman
- Novo Nordisk
- Oracle Corporation
- PG&E Corporation
- Procter & Gamble
- Raser Technologies
- Rath, Young and Pignatelli
- Real Estate Roundtable
- Retail Industry Leaders Association
- Sealed Air Corporation
- Sierra Club
- Solar Energy Industries Association
- Solar Nation
- Specialized Bicycles
- Texas Instruments
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Walt Disney Company
- World Wildlife Fund
- Americans for Tax Reform
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- Club for Growth
- Independent Electrical Contractors
- National Taxpayers Union
Articles and resources
- Congress Daily's article House Dems Issue Ultimatum On Pay/Go On Tax Package 12 Jun 2008.
- Grist's article No renewal for renewables 10 Jun 2008.
- Renewable Energy World.com's article U.S. House Passes Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension Bill 22 May 2008.
- The Wall Street Journal's article House Votes Tax Breaks For Alternative Energy 22 May 2008.
- Grist's article Renewables hit the jackpot 21 May 2008.
- ENewsUSA's Committee Approves Fast-Tracked Energy & Tax Extenders Act 19 May 2008.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Project Vote Smart's info page on Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008(H.R.6049).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 League of Conservation Voters, National Environmental Scorecard, Second Session 110th Congress.
- ↑ "High Tech Voting Guide".
- ↑ League of Conservation Voters, National Environmental Scorecard, Second Session 110th Congress.
- ↑ From Drum Major Institute, "TheMiddleClass.org 2008 Congressional Scorecard"