Constituent Services
Higgins Joins House in Approving the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act
May 22, 2008

Legislation Cuts Taxes for middle Class Families & Creates Incentives for Renewable Energy and Green Jobs


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) joined with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008,  legislation aimed at extending and expanding tax incentives for renewable energy, retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs, spurring American innovation and business investment, cutting taxes for millions of Americans and closing loopholes allowing U.S. corporations and executives to avoid U.S. taxes by shipping jobs and investments overseas.


“Small businesses in America employ more than half of the country's private workforce, create three of every four new jobs, and generate innumerable innovations,” said Congressman Higgins, a member of the House Committee on Small Business.  “These tax provisions will help create jobs in neighborhoods across Western New York.”




Among other things this bill extends through 2008 the accelerated 15-year cost recovery periods for restaurant property and leasehold improvements and saves 3.4 million teachers money with a deduction for classroom expenses.


The bill would also extend several tax provisions important to economic development projects in Western New York.  Among others, the bill would extend the Research and Development Tax Credit which allows biotechnology and manufacturing firms to engage in more innovative research with lower financial barriers, the New Markets Tax Credit which encourages private parties to invest in economic development projects in low-income areas, and a tax provision that allows businesses to immediately expense the costs of remediating contaminated brownfield sites.




The bill would help families cope with the rising cost of education by extending the current deduction for college tuition, provide 22,000 American troops in combat with tax relief under the Earned Income Tax Credit and extend through 2008 the option to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of income taxes.




The bill extends and modifies several existing energy-related tax provisions while also providing new incentives.  It extends an existing credit for the production of renewable energy, extends a credit for energy-efficient commercial buildings and homes, provides $3,000 or more toward the purchase of fuel-efficient, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and authorizes the issuance of $3 billion in tax-credit energy conservation bonds to fund projects to reduce greenhouse gases.


This month, an Energy Department report concluded that it’s feasible for the United States to get 20 percent of its electricity needs from wind power by 2030, about the same share now provided by nuclear power, without the need for any major technological breakthroughs.  Wind power is especially important to the future of Western New York


“By using just one tenth of the potential wind power from Lakes Erie and Ontario, we could produce cheap, renewable energy for businesses and homeowners in Western New York equal to three Niagara power plants,” Higgins said.  “The tax credit for wind energy will help us harness this renewable resource while creating green jobs for local workers.”


Higgins added that the tax credit for energy-efficient buildings will help us make better use of our resources.  “With buildings like the soon to be built LEED certified federal courthouse in Buffalo leading the way, this credit will create more incentives for green investment in WNY.”


H.R. 6049 does not add to the deficit.  The tax incentives and relief provided are offset by closing a tax loophole that allows hedge fund managers and certain corporate executives to defer taxation through offshore corporations.  The bill would also delay for 10 years implementation of a pending tax benefit for multinational companies that have shipped jobs overseas.


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