Congress passes spending bill, tax extenders legislation

By Erin Voegele | December 18, 2015

Members of Congress have passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill and accompanying legislative package of tax extenders that includes two-year extensions of several tax credits that benefit the bioenergy sector. President Obama is expected to sign the measure into law.

On the morning of Dec. 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the spending bill by a vote of 316 to 113. A short time later, the U.S. Senate voted 56 to 33 in favor of the legislation.

The tax package extends the second generation biofuel production credit through Jan. 1, 2017. The credit is currently scheduled to expire at the end of the year. The biodiesel and renewable diesel tax credit is also extended for two years, through Dec. 31, 2016. In addition, the bill aims to extend the special allowance for second generation biofuel plant property through Jan. 1, 2017. The alternative fuels excise tax credit is also extended through the end of 2016, along with the credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property.

The tax extenders package also benefits biomass power with a two year extension of the Section 45 production tax credit (PTC).

The 2009-page omnibus spending bill includes fiscal year 2016 funding for a wide range of government departments and programs, including the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance program, and Rural Energy for America Program.

Full copies of the spending bill and tax extenders legislation can be downloaded from the U.S. House of Representatives’ website.