The U.S. Senate passed a $42 billion package of tax incentives, reviving dozens of lapsed breaks for 2014 and setting them to expire two weeks from tomorrow.
After the 76-16 vote, the bill heads to President Barack Obama. The House passed the measure Dec. 3 on a 378-46 vote.
Top provisions affecting agriculture include an extension of Section 179 for 2014 only. The bill won approval announcements from the National Milk Producers Federation as well as the Illinois Soybean Growers, though concerns remain about the future.
“As a soybean grower, I welcome this federal tax extension as it provides continuity and stability for my fellow producers who use these programs,” says Stan Born, soybean farmer from Dunlap, Ill., in the Illinois Soybean announcement. “However, farming requires long-term planning and, consequently, we need a more permanent solution. I hope that both chambers will work together on a resolution and extend these critical tax incentives into the future.”
Congress will have the “dubious distinction” of starting next year with all of the provisions expired, said Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who is poised to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in January.
“Never in the history of tax legislation have so many voted for so little and been so disappointed,” he said.
Beneficiaries of the breaks include multinational corporations such as General Electric Co. and Intel Corp., along with individuals who sold homes in short sales or live in states without income taxes.
By extending the tax breaks through 2014, Congress did the bare minimum necessary to avoid creating a major disruption to the 2015 tax-filing season or saddling taxpayers with unexpectedly higher bills.
“Congress is turning in its tax homework eleven-and-a-half months late and expects to earn full credit,” Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said on the Senate floor before the vote this evening.
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Posted by Jami Howell