Senate Passes Baucus-Grassley Tax Extenders Package With Clean And Dirty Fuel Incentives 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 24 Sep 2008 00:05:00 GMT

By a vote of 93-2 (Crapo and Kyl opposed; Biden, DeMint, Kennedy, McCain, and Obama abset), the Senate passed the Baucus-Grassley Energy Improvement and Extension Act (S.Amdt. 5633 to H.R. 6049) this afternoon. The $100 billion bill extends the solar incentives through 2016 and other renewable production tax credits for one or two years. There are $8.3 billion in funds for this year’s climate disasters, including the Midwest floods and Gulf Coast hurricanes. Some tax breaks for oil companies are rolled back, but the bill is far from fully funded (even ignoring the giant AMT protection).

Significant elements of the bill, as passed: Energy incentives
  • Extends for one or two years and expands production tax credits for wind, refined coal, biomass and marine renewables. $5.8 billion.
  • Extends through 2016 the investment tax credit for solar energy. $1.9 billion.
  • Extends through 2016 the credit for residential solar property. $1.3 billion.
  • Provides new tax credits for creation of advanced coal electricity projects and certain coal gasification projects. $1.4 billion.
  • Establishes a new credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles. $758 million.
  • Extends credit for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes. $837 million.
Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Increases personal credits against the AMT, shielding more than 20 million taxpayers from the tax. $61.8 billion.
  • Protects those exposed to the AMT because of incentive stock options. $2.3 billion.
Individual and business tax credits
  • Extends until end of 2009 the research and development credit. $19 billion.
  • Extends until end of 2009 the deduction for state and local general sales taxes. $3.3 billion.
  • Extends until end of 2009 a tax deduction for higher education costs. $5.3 billion.
  • Extends until end of 2009 a deduction for a teacher’s personal expenses. $410 million.
  • Lowers the refundable threshold for the child tax credit for the 2008 tax year. $3.1 billion.
  • Requires private insurance plans that offer mental health benefits to offer such benefits on a part with medical-surgical benefits. $3.9 billion.
  • Provides tax relief to victims of natural disasters in Midwest and elsewhere. $8.3 billion.