Senate Finance Committee to markup tax extenders legislation

By Erin Voegele | April 02, 2014

The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to markup a tax extenders bill on April 3. The legislation, titled the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, includes extensions of tax credits that benefit a variety of biofuels and biofuel-related projects.

“This bipartisan extenders package is the product of a Finance Committee that came together to provide needed certainty to the economy, protect jobs and maintain important priorities for working families,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “With that said, I am determined this will be the last extenders bill on my watch. It’s high time we focus on creating a new, 21st-century tax code, because the status quo is unacceptable.”

“For far too long Washington has acted to extend long-standing tax policy, rarely shining a spotlight on the individual provisions or their impact on the families and businesses that benefit from them. Such dysfunction must come to an end,” said Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “This pared back bill demonstrates to the American people that Congress can and will make the tough decisions needed to help clean up our broken tax code.  It’s imperative to allow the Committee to work its will and a markup will provide members with ample opportunity to thoroughly examine these provisions.”

A summary of the EXPIRE Act released by the Senate Finance Committee notes that the bill would extend the $1.01 per gallon production tax credit for cellulosic biofuels by two years, through 2015. The extension is estimated to cost $55 million over 10 years.

The $1.00 per gallon production tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel would also be extended for two years, through 2015, along with the 10 cent per gallon small agri-biodiesel producer credit. The extension of these credits is estimated to cost $2.6 billion over 10 years.

The legislation would extend the 50 cent per gallon alternative fuel tax credit and alternative fuel mixture tax credit for two years, through 2015. The credit can be claimed as a nonrefundable excise tax credit or a refundable income tax credit for the blending and sale of alternative fuel mixtures including ethanol, biofuels, compressed or liquefied natural gas and liquefied hydrogen. The two year extension would be expected to cost $903 million over 10 years.   

The bill would extend bonus depreciation for cellulosic biofuels through two years for facilities placed in service before the end of 2015. The tax provision allows facilities producing cellulosic biofuel to expense 50 percent of their eligible capital costs in the first year. A two-year extension of the provision is estimated to cost $1 million over 10 years.

The 30 percent investment tax credit for alternative vehicle refueling property, up to $30,000 would also be extended for two years, through 2015. Eligible refueling property includes fuel pumps for ethanol, biodiesel, liquefied hydrogen, and compressed for liquefied natural gas. The extension would cost an estimated $89 million over 10 years.

A summary of the EXPIRE Act and the Chairman’s Mark can be downloaded from the Senate Finance Committee website. A webcast of the markup can be viewed on the committee website starting at 10:00 a.m. on April 3.

While the EXPIRE Act aims to extend existing tax provisions, separate legislative proposals released by the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year aim to overhaul several energy tax incentives.