The House took a major step today to strengthen America's economy by passing critical tax breaks for middle class families and American businesses. The bill also moves the United States closer to energy independence by removing taxpayer giveaways toward the oil and gas industry, and invests those resources in renewable energy and increased conservation efforts, including a provision pushed by Schwartz for tax credits for energy efficient commercial buildings.
The bill is heading to the Senate, where similar provisions, including revenue offsets, have already been approved by the Senate in legislation passed this week.
"The Senate has a responsibility to do the right thing for middle class families and our businesses that depend on these vital tax deductions and credits. I call on my Senate colleagues to work with us in the House to send to President Bush this fiscally responsible proposal, so that we can help turn our economy around," said U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (Pa-13).
The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008 would extend and provide important tax relief for individuals and families, including:
Deduction of State and local sales tax
Deduction of tuition and other education expenses
Deduction of out-of-pocket expenses by teachers
Deduction of property taxes for non-itemizers
Relief for more than 12 million children through an expansion of the refundable child tax credit to taxpayers earning $8,500 a year.
Critical tax incentives for businesses:
Extending the research and development credit
Extending active financing provisions
Enhancing depreciation for restaurants
The bill also moves America toward greater energy independence by through encouraging the use and production of renewable energy with the following tools:
An eight-year extension of the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy
2.75 year extensions of the production tax credit (PTC) for energy derived from biomass, geothermal, waves and tides, hydropower, landfill gas and solid waste
A one-year extension of the PTC for energy derived from wind
Tax incentives for coal electricity plants that capture and sequester carbon dioxide.
Incentives for the production of renewable fuels such as biodiesel and renewable
Incentives to encourage energy efficient products, such as plug-in hybrids cars, and incentives for energy conservation in both commercial buildings and residential structures