House votes to reinstate tax-break package for 2014

By Philip Brasher

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2014 -- The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to reinstate for this year a series of expired tax breaks that are important to farmers, landowners, biofuel producers and the wind industry. The package of tax extenders passed 378-16, clearing the way for final passage in the Senate before the lame-duck session ends.

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Some lawmakers used the debate to air longstanding complaints that the tax incentives will lapse once again in January. A deal to extend them for longer collapsed last month because of opposition from President Obama.

The bill includes the Section 179 small business expensing provision widely used by farmers and the $1-a-gallon tax credit that subsidizes the production of biodiesel.

Farm and business groups wanted a longer-term extension but a deal to do that died last week because of opposition from the White House.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., accused the White House of failing to cooperate with Republicans to come up with an alternative to the short extension advanced Wednesday.

The administration's actions now force us to take a different and less effective approach.  With the end of the year and a new tax filing season rapidly approaching, we need to act,” Camp said.

Before the final vote, Democrats unsuccessfully tried to force the bill to deny the tax benefits to companies that move operations lower-tax countries.

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The Section 179 provision would keep the expensing limitation at $500,000 for this year, the level that has been effect since 2010. Without the extension it reverts to $25,000. The provision costs the government about $1.4 billion.

The wind industry's tax credit also would be reinstated for this year - at a cost of nearly $10 billion - but there is discussion of phasing it out.  

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