WSJ Describes Tax Extenders’ Twilight Existence

November 22, 2015

An article in the Wall Street Journal outlines the limbo existence of dozens of tax extender provisions (including Section 179D) — stuck pending congressional renewal not only for next year, but also for this one that’s nearly over.

A quotation from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden captures the perversity of the situation.

“The whole point of tax policy is to ensure that you make decisions that guide future behavior,” said Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. “We’ve already seen close to a year’s worth of behavior. And you’re in effect passing tax laws to provide incentives, purportedly, for behavior that already took place.”

In July the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill that extends all existing breaks, retroactively for 2015 and forward through 2016, by a bipartisan 23-3 vote. But bipartisan talks are just getting started, and the article says that while Republicans led by new House Speaker Paul Ryan would like to make some of the tax breaks for business permanent, the Obama administration wants avoid that in favor of preserving expanded tax credits for low- and middle-income families that expire in 2017.

The Journal article estimates that the two-year extension of the extenders would add $87 billion to budget deficits over a decade, even after accounting for increased revenue due to projected economic growth.

For more information, see

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