HINOJOSA BACKS RENEWABLE ENERGY AND JOB CREATION ACT
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) today joined a majority of the House of Representatives in support of legislation that will boost the production and use of renewable energy and provide tax relief to South Texas families.
"High gas prices have only highlighted the need for a real energy policy that moves us forward," said Hinojosa. "This legislation makes the right investments in the renewable energy, protects our environment and helps create hundreds of thousands of good-paying American jobs."
To reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and to protect the environment, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act would increase the production of renewable fuels and electricity, as well as encourage greater energy efficiency. It extends and expands tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel from American agriculture, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances.
Failing to extend some of these provisions could have significant consequences for Texan workers. A recent study showed that allowing the renewable energy incentives to expire would lead to about 116,000 jobs being lost in the wind and solar industries through the end of 2009. The extension of the Research and Development Tax Credit will stimulate America's economy by providing companies with more incentive to innovate and develop new products.
The legislation also supports businesses and provides tax relief to millions of American families. The bill extends for one year the election to take an itemized deduction for Texas and local sales taxes in lieu of the itemized deduction permitted for state and local income taxes. This tax deduction ensures that Texas taxpayers receive equitable treatment compared to residents of states with income taxes.
The legislation also extends the research and development tax credit to spur American innovation and business investment and cuts taxes for millions of Americans, including teachers and college students. The bill would expand eligibility for the $1,000 refundable child tax credit and provide tax relief to homeowners who do not itemize their deductions by permitting them to deduct up to $700 of property taxes in addition to their standard deduction.
"The weak economy has left families and business across South Texas struggling to make ends meet," added Hinojosa. "Extending the research and development tax credit will help create jobs and giving millions of Americans tax relief will make it a little easier for families to get through these rough economic times."
Teachers and students will also continue to receive tax relief thanks to this legislation. The bill extends the $250 above-the-line tax deduction for teachers for expenses paid or incurred for books, supplies, and other materials used by the educator in the classroom. In addition, it extends the deduction for students' qualified education expenses including tuition.
The legislation is fiscally responsible, does not add to the national debt and closes loopholes allowing corporations and executives to avoid U.S. taxes by shipping jobs and investment overseas.