Ethanol Blog

Tax-Extenders Bill Wins Praise for Biodiesel Extension, Phaseout

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Biodiesel supporters are pleased an extension of the $1 biodiesel tax credit is included in a late-year tax-extenders bill. (Photo courtesy of the National Biodiesel Board)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, released a tax and oversight package Monday that includes retirement and other savings enhancements, legislation to redesign the Internal Revenue Service, and temporary tax relief for victims of the wildfires in California and for communities affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael and by storms and volcanoes in the Pacific.

The package also addresses the tax extenders and includes some time-sensitive technical corrections to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

"This broad, bipartisan package builds on the economic successes we continue to see throughout our country," Brady said in a statement "The policy proposals in this package have support of Republicans and Democrats in both chambers. I look forward to swift action in the House to send these measures to the Senate."

The National Biodiesel Board on Monday praised the package for its technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and extension of several expired tax credits, including the biodiesel and renewable diesel tax incentive. The bill would set the biodiesel tax credit at $1 a gallon from 2018 to 2021, then phase the tax credit down to 75 cents for 2022, 50 cents for 2023, and 33 cents for 2024 before expiring at the end of that year.

Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs with the National Biodiesel Board, stated, "The biodiesel industry has long advocated for a long-term tax extension to provide certainty and predictably for producers and feedstock providers."

"Too often, the credit has been allowed to lapse and then reinstated retroactively, which does not provide the certainty businesses need to plan, invest, and create jobs.

"We appreciate the recognition that the biodiesel industry is integral to our domestic energy needs through this long-term extension. We look forward to working with our supporters on Capitol Hill to ensure that consumers, producers and marketers benefit from a long-term, forward-looking pro-growth tax policy."

The bill also includes other provisions for second-generation biofuel property and tax credits for electricity generated from certain renewable resources.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday he had several conversations with Brady and the biodiesel agreement over the last several weeks to reach an agreement. Grassley said he could not say whether the biodiesel industry would come back later for an additional extension, but he pointed to the phaseouts for wind and solar tax credits, and so far the industries have not pushed for extensions.

The bill also would include tax credits for cellulosic fuel, but just retroactively one year for 2018.

Also for the benefit of agriculture, Grassley said a tax credit for railroad bed improvement will be made permanent in the bill, but at a slightly lower rate. He noted that would help short-line railroads.

Grassley said the tax bill would have to be negotiated quickly between the two chambers because a bill moved earlier by the Senate had several different provisions. Grassley said the details would have to be worked out in "pre-conference" talks.

"For me, I'm going to be fighting at least to get this extender done because I want to preserve this biodiesel extender and some of the cellulosic stuff for ethanol," Grassley said. "It's not the only interest I have in the extenders but it's the one primary to Iowa."

Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018:

https://docs.house.gov/…

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@njdc.com

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport

(CC/AG)

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