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Senate Passes Critical Renewable Energy Incentives to Create Jobs

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senate Passes Critical Renewable Energy Incentives to Create Jobs

Stabenow Plays Key Role on Senate Finance Committee

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced Senate passage of the Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008. This legislation includes numerous tax incentives to create jobs by increasing the production of alternative energy. The legislation also provides support to middle-class families in need of tax relief and allocates disaster relief to areas throughout Michigan damaged by floods earlier this year.

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Stabenow has taken an active role in shaping legislation designed to strengthen the economy and create jobs in Michigan. For the first time, plug-in electric drive vehicles will receive a tax credit. Additionally, manufactures who create jobs in the US will receive a tax credit for the production of energy-efficient appliances.

"Our economy is going through a transformation where the right investments today will create a strong economy, new jobs and energy independence tomorrow," said Stabenow. "This legislation will provide tax credits to develop alternative energy technology, create new jobs, and end the stranglehold of foreign oil on Americans," she continued. "I am particularly pleased that we will help consumers purchase the next generation of vehicles - which will be made right here at home."

Tax provisions in this legislation include:

Alternative Minimum Tax Relief— The bill will increase the income threshold to protect 24 million Americans from being subject to the alternative minimum tax, a $2000 tax increase. In Michigan, this will cut taxes for over 90,000 Michigan families. At a time when costs are rising and income is declining, hardworking families cannot afford to pay higher taxes.

Plug-in electric drive vehicle credit— The bill establishes a new credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles. The credit for passenger vehicles and light trucks ranges from $2500 to $7500. This will help consumers move to newer technologies and advance the production of alternative vehicles here at home.

Modification and Extension of Energy-Efficient Appliance Credit— Manufacturers will receive a tax credit for the production of energy-efficient dishwashers, clothes washers and refrigerators. To help our economy and create jobs here at home, the credit is provided only for appliances that are produced in the U.S.

Midwestern Disaster Area Tax Relief—The proposal provides tax relief for victims of the Midwestern disaster in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The proposals are applicable to floods, severe storms, and tornadoes that are declared by FEMA on or after May 20, 2008, and before August 1, 2008. This aid will help over 11 Michigan counties throughout the state.

Research and Development Credit—The bill would extend the research tax credit equal to 20 percent of the amount by which a taxpayer's qualified research expenses for a taxable year exceed its base amount for that year. This provision will encourage companies to increase their investment in research and development in an effort to help the U.S. develop new innovative technologies and remain competitive abroad.

Teacher Expense Deduction—This bill provides a deduction for up to $250 for out-of-pocket educational expenses. Our hardworking teachers deserve to be compensated for their financial contributions toward classroom supplies.

7-Year Recovery Period for Certain Motorsports Racetrack Property—The bill permanently extends a special 7-year cost recovery period or property used for land improvement and support facilities at motorsports entertainment complexes. Michigan has more than 30 facilities and hosts over a half a million fans annually at the Michigan International Speedway.

IRA Rollover Provision—The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) created a provision allowing taxpayers to make tax-free contributions from their IRA plans to qualified charitable organizations. This provision will help charitable organizations who play an even greater role in helping families during tough economic times.

New Markets Tax Credit—This bill will extend the tax credit for investing in low-income urban neighborhoods and rural communities. In one year, the NMTC generated financing for the construction or rehabilitation of over 43 million square feet of real estate, and created or retained 72,000 construction jobs and 20,000 full time equivalent jobs in low-income community businesses.

Accelerated Depreciation for Smart Meters and Smart Grid Systems—The bill provides accelerated depreciation for smart electric meter and smart electric grid equipment. The bill allows taxpayers to recover the cost of property over a 10-year period instead of a 20-year period. This will help provide more reliable and efficient energy to consumers which will decrease costs, save energy, and ensure our electric infrastructure can meet future demands.

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