RENEWABLE ENERGY AND JOB CREATION TAX ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - September 26, 2008)
Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008. This legislation is a timely, necessary, and comprehensive approach to addressing our energy crisis. I support efforts to extend the expiring business tax provisions. Opponents of H.R. 6049 are concerned that the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to this bill would permanently increase taxes on businesses to pay for a temporary, one-year extension of expiring business tax provisions. I fail to see the merits of the opponent's contention and I believe that the benefits far outweigh any potential costs. Given the circumstances, the American economy is spiraling downward, energy prices are high, and unemployment is high, some kind of relief must be granted. To the extent that this body can grant some kind of relief, it is to be supported. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation. I am committed to working with industry actors to make sure that some balance is struck in the future.
The following are provisions that are widely supported by various interest groups:
Extension of Expired and Expiring Business Tax Provisions--Legislation is urgently needed to extend critically important provisions. A number of provisions--such as the R&D credit, the election to deduct state and local general sales tax, and the railroad track maintenance credit--already have expired. Others--such as the exception under subpart F for active financing income and the look-through treatment of payments between related controlled foreign corporations (CFCs) under the foreign personal holding company rules--expire at the end of this year.
Clean Energy Tax Incentives--The extension of the clean energy tax incentives. These incentives will go a long way toward the development of the renewable and alternative energy technologies essential to America's energy future. The Chamber believes it is critical to promote the responsible use of all energy sources. To reach this goal, government and business should support investment in new technologies that expand alternative energy and enable traditional sources of energy to be used more cleanly and Cleanly and efficiently.
Some business interests have concerns with revenue offset provisions included in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6049, including those related to:
Punitive Oil and Gas Taxes--Business claim that Congress must be mindful of the crosswinds hitting the American economy from the financial sector to the housing sectors. Many believe tax increases on the oil and gas industries are out of sync with an American economy showing great demand for increased domestic energy production, which could provide the opportunity for the energy industry to add a significant number of high-wage jobs. Many are concerned with provisions that would freeze the section 199 deduction for oil and gas companies. This change would discourage energy investment, resulting in the loss of jobs, a decrease in the supply of oil and gas, and an increase in the costs for businesses that rely on oil and gas.
Many businesses interest groups are also concerned with the proposed modifications of the foreign tax credit rules for oil and gas companies, as this change would place domestic firms at a competitive disadvantage to foreign oil and gas manufacturers.
FUTA Surtax--Some businesses are concerned with the proposed extension of the FUTA surtax, which was added to the tax code in 1976 as a temporary measure and should have been allowed to expire long ago, having outlived the purposes and term that served as the rationale for its enactment.
Nonqualified Deferred Compensation--Some acknowledges that tax deferred plans used by offshore partnerships are created as part of complex legal agreements between managers and limited partners who are usually passive foreign investors. Foreign investors utilize these deferral arrangements to better align the interests of the manager with the investors. Altering these economic arrangements could cause these investments to migrate to other countries.
I will end, as I began. I believe that this bill is solid and makes great strides toward providing relief to the American people. I support this bill, and I am committed to working with industry and businesses to make sure that their concerns are heard and addressed.
I urge my colleagues to support this bill.