Legislation to reinstate some expired tax breaks and extend other, soon-to-expire provisions has cleared the House and was awaiting final congressional action at ENR press time.
Among the key construction-related provisions are a one-year extension of measures aimed at assisting ailing multiemployer pension plans. Multiemployer plans are common in unionized construction. Supporters of the extension include the laborers' union.
The bill also would retroactively allow a tax credit for facilities that generate electricity from wind or other renewable sources and that began construction in 2014. But Tom Kiernan, American Wind Energy Association CEO, said the extension "does not provide the certainty and stability needed to keep U.S. factories open and keep workers on the job."
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers supports the bill's provisions extending bonus depreciation and same-year write-offs for capital equipment purchases made in 2014. AEM would prefer to see Congress make the depreciation breaks permanent, but Nick Yasich, vice president for government and industry relations, said even a short extension will help equipment makers. He said, "Time is money, and there's still a lot of time left in 2014."
The House passed the tax "extenders" package on Dec. 3 by a 378-46 vote. The final congressional step would be Senate approval. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the measure's cost at $41.6 billion over 10 years.