The Senate Finance Committee has approved a set of tax extenders that expired last year, including the biofuels Producer Tax Credit and higher Section 179 tax expensing limitations.
The extenders were part of a larger bill, the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act. It was approved by bipartisan voice vote on Thursday.
The package includes provisions that would benefit individuals, families, and small businesses, incentivize innovative research and development, and promote alternative and renewable energy initiatives, among others.
Specific to agriculture are the renewable fuels extenders and Section 179 expensing limitations.
Brooke Coleman, Executive Director of the Advanced Ethanol Council, said the passage of the extenders will benefit investments in renewables.
"The cellulosic biofuel industry is just breaking through at commercial scale. Markup sends a clear signal to the marketplace that Congress is making progress on extending its support for one of the most innovative, low carbon industries in the world," Coleman said.
Coleman urged speedy passage as executives in the biofuels industry weighing the pros and cons of developing the next wave of projects.
The committee also extended for two years increased expensing limitations under Section 179. Under the proposed two-year extension of Section 179 levels, the maximum amount to expense would move from $25,000 back to $500,000 – as it was from 2010 to 2013 – and the phase-out threshold would be set at $2 million.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the passing the bill through committee was a signal that existing tax structure cannot be retained.
"By passing this bill, the Finance Committee has put an expiration date on the status quo," Wyden said in a statement. "The stop and go nature of these tax extenders contributes to the lack of certainty and predictability America needs to create more family wage jobs. But it makes no sense to let these incentives disappear without a comprehensive reform proposal to replace them when jobs, innovation and research, and people's homes are on the line."
View specifics of the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency Act.
Editor's note: Get the latest Section 179 news - What You Need To Know About Section 179