Reichert Deplores Inclusion of OCS Drilling Provision in Bill Extending State Sales Tax Deduction
Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) sharply criticized House and Senate leadership for including a provision in a tax extender package that would authorize Gulf Coast States to allow drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf along their shores. The tax extender bill originally was limited to tax provisions, including those important to Washington State such as the two-year extensions of the State Sales Tax Deduction, the R&D tax credit and a two-year extension of a college tuition deduction program, among others.
"I've been pushing for an extension of the State Sales Tax Deduction because it is vitally important to Washington families. However, I am appalled that leadership chose to attach a totally unrelated provision to the tax extenders package," said Congressman Reichert. "This is like last year when leadership attached a provision to allow drilling in ANWR to the Defense Appropriations bill before we adjourned last December. At that time I crossed party lines and took a rare procedural vote against the rule to try to have ANWR removed. I did a similar thing today when I voted to remove the ill-advised, and irrelevant to the tax extender package, OCS provision. Unfortunately the measure failed and the provision remained in the bill.
"Attaching provisions to expand the areas where oil companies may drill rather than focusing on the development of renewable sources of energy is short-sighted. Provisions such as the R&D tax credit incentivize the development of these sources of energy and are crucial for America's future energy security. This legislation includes almost $4 billion in tax credits for renewable and alternative sources of energy, but we must do more, such as increasing CAFÉ standards and the development of plug-in hybrids.
"Washington families rely on and need the State Sales Tax Deduction and the college tuition deduction. These provisions and others keep money in the hands of the people who earn it and to whom it has the greatest potential value. To fail to extend the State Sales Tax Deduction effectively means those Washington State families, and those that live in other states with a state sales tax, are subject to a significant tax increase, and that is not acceptable."