Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Thursday 04/03/14

Senate Finance Committee Approves Tax Extenders Package

The Senate Finance Committee approved a long list of tax extensions that included key provisions for the biofuels industry as well as the wind industry.

The bill is called the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act, or "EXPIRE." I swear there must be an entire training class for congressional staffers on the art of crafting acronyms. EXPIRE passed the committee on a voice vote.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the bill should help deal with the stop-and-go nature of tax extensions in recent history, though he also acknowledged the need for a comprehensive tax-reform plan.

A couple of key provisions in the bill that most farmers could use involve equipment and machinery deductions or depreciation schedules. The bill would raise the Section 179 deductions for 2014 and 2015 to a $500,000 maximum and be allowed for any business with less than $2 million in property put into service. The deduction phases out dollar for dollar for all equipment value purchased above $2 million.

The bill also would extend 50% bonus depreciation for certain qualified property put into service before Jan. 1, 2016.

Also, if you raise horses, the bill would keep the 3-year depreciation schedule on race horses.

The Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit for wind had been excluded from the package, but Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said he and others introduced an amendment to reinstate the wind provisions. The amendment allows companies to take the production tax credit or the investment tax credit instead of the production credit through the end of 2015.

For biofuels, the bill includes:

The $1.01 per gallon Cellulosic Biofuels Producer Tax Credit through 2015, which is scored to cost $55 million.

The $1 a gallon Biodiesel tax credit as well as the 10-cent a gallon agri-biodiesel producer tax credit.

The company Novozymes praised the committee vote, citing several tax provisions that would be extended through the end of 2015, including the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, Special Depreciation Allowance for Second Generation Biofuel Plant Property, Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit, and the Alternative Fuel and Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit. Novozymes stated the tax package adds "certainty for the advanced biofuel industry and its investors."

Total package of cuts would cost an average of $85 billion over 10 years.

Full details on the legislation can be found at http://www.finance.senate.gov/…

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Posted at 3:39PM CDT 04/03/14 by Chris Clayton
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