WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) praised the bipartisan work of the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday as he joined with his colleagues to pass a package of expired or expiring tax provisions, known as “tax extenders,” designed to provide certainty and better results for American taxpayers, families and businesses. The extenders bill considered by the Committee encourages economic growth and development, innovation, and job creation. It includes a number of specific provisions authored by Senator Cardin to promote energy efficiency in buildings, to help the long-term unemployed, and to encourage domestic economic investment and job creation. Senator Cardin was pleased that the tax extenders package also renews incentives for use of public transit and conservation easements, renews the New Markets Tax Credit, provides additional relief for struggling homeowners, includes helpful tax changes for small businesses, and extends the Low Income House Credit minimum rate for both existing property and new construction, all of which are important for Baltimore and communities throughout Maryland.
“Our tax code directly or indirectly affects every American and resident of the U.S. We need to enact comprehensive tax reform but in the meantime, we can make the current system work better to encourage economic growth and development, spur innovation, and create jobs. We can use the tax code to provide much needed support for our children, families, and workers, and provide stability and predictability for our businesses,” said Senator Cardin.
“Energy efficiency improvements are a smart, cost-effective way to reduce pollution, increase the competitiveness of our manufacturers, and put Americans back to work. It’s simply good business and good policy,” said Senator Cardin, who also is a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “I am pleased that the package extends the 179D deduction for energy efficient buildings, and includes several improvements that now allow tribal governments and nonprofits to access this important incentive. I look forward to working with the Chairman, Ranking Member, and Members of the Committee to ensure that further improvements to 179D—especially extending the incentive to retrofits and allowing passthrough entities to claim the full value of the deduction—become law.”
Portman-Cardin WOTC amendment
“I am very proud of my work to extend the availability of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to promote the hiring of the long-term unemployed. WOTC has been extremely effective in encouraging employers to take chance on hiring individuals who are difficult to hire and in so doing, dramatically reduced the burden of public assistance with respect to the unemployed. Studies on the Work Opportunity Tax Credit have shown that for every WOTC hire, the federal government saves approximately $17,000 by encouraging the hiring of hard-to-employ individuals.”
New Markets Tax Credit
“I am also gratified that my amendment to provide a small but very meaningful increase to the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) limitation was adopted into the extenders package this year. Throughout the history of the NMTC, demand for credits has outpaced the amount authorized. Treasury made the first NMTC allocation in 2003. Since then, Treasury has received allocation applications for $301 billion, but only $43.5 billion on NMTC allocation has been authorized.
“Because the NMTC lacks an annual inflation adjustment, the level of NMTC financing available to distressed communities has declined in real terms over the past eight years. In 2007, $3.5 billion in NMTC allocation authority was available, the same amount available in the 2014 application round. After adjusting for inflation, NMTC allocation authority has declined by 12.3 percent since 2007.
“The effective decline of NMTC allocations makes the task of encouraging private investment and revitalizing underserved communities more and more difficult. This one-time increase will restore the NMTC credit limitation’s value to 2007 levels in real dollar terms for 2015 and 2016 —and therefore help strengthen the good work this credit is doing in Maryland throughout the country.”