Senate Finance Committee taskforce to examine energy tax credits

By Erin Voegele | May 16, 2019

Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee announced the formation of several bipartisan taskforces May 16 to examine 42 temporary tax provisions that expired or will expire between Dec. 31, 2017 and Dec, 31, 2019, including several bioenergy and biofuel credits.

The initiative features taskforces dedicated to employment and community development; health; energy; cost recovery; individual, excise and other expiring policies. Members of each taskforce aim to find solutions that would provide long-term certainty. A separate taskforce will examine whether there is a core package of tax relief provisions that should be available when natural disasters strike.

The energy task force with be co-led by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and include Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Thomas Carper, D-Del.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Bill Cassidy, R-La.; and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are ex officio members of every taskforce.

The credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, the second generation biofuel credit, incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel, the Sec. 45 and Sec. 48 renewable energy tax credits, and the special depreciation allowance for second generation biofuel plant property are among the tax credits the energy taskforce will address.

“It’s past time for Congress to end its bad habit of waiting until the last minute to extend temporary tax policy,” Grassley said. “This type of tax policy is meant to encourage long-term growth and investment. By definition, that must be done deliberately and ahead of time to be successful. I encourage stakeholders to view this as an opportunity to come to the table and work with us to find long-term solutions. The alternative is continued uncertainty or an even worse outcome. I also hope my colleagues in the House of Representatives will take note that the Senate is willing to work on long-term solutions to temporary tax policy and immediately send us a bill that addresses the provisions that expired for 2018 so we can deal with the unfairness Congress has caused for so many individuals and industries.”

“Extending tax incentives for a year or two at a time is no way to craft public policy. The Finance Committee’s task forces are working to develop permanent solutions to these vexing tax issues,” Wyden said.

Additional information is available on the Senate Finance Committee website.