Democratic News

The Senate today passed middle class tax cut legislation that includes an extension through 2005 for the popular wind energy tax credit. Also included in the bill (H.R. 1308) are straight extensions of three other energy tax breaks that have expired, or soon will. The four energy tax credits that will be extended for one year when President Bush signs this bill are the Production Tax Credit for electricity from wind, closed loop biomass and poultry waste; the taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal wells; elimination of phase-out of credit for qualified electric vehicles; and elimination of phase-out for deduction for clean-fuel vehicle property. Conferees lifted the extenders title from the stalled corporate tax overhaul bill and added it to the middle class tax cut bill because of concerns that the corporate tax bill will not be enacted before the Nov. 2 election. It seems the idea was to put the extenders in the bill that will pass first. Sen. Bingaman, a member of the Finance Committee, top Democrat on the Energy Committee, FSC/ETI bill conferee and a champion for renewable energy, said that he intends to work with Chairman Grassley to make sure that the Senate's version of the entire energy tax package is included in the FSC/ETI conference report.

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