Congressional Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee have introduced a pair of bills to extend the production tax credit for wind energy manufacturers through the end of 2013 and provide a 10 percent income tax credit for employer payroll increases this year.

Both bills, the Wind Power American Jobs Act and the Hire Now Act, would be paid for by ending tax breaks for the Big Five oil and gas companies, which earned a combined $32 billion in profits during the first three months of 2012.

The bills introduced Wednesday add to the No Excuses Agenda that Ways and Means Democrats kicked off last week by introducing legislation to extend 100 percent bonus depreciation through 2012 (see House Introduces Extension of 100% Bonus Depreciation).

"Congress should continue its long-standing support for a broad array of clean energy tax incentives to spur investment, create jobs and diversify our nation's energy portfolio,” said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., in a statement. “New wind power manufacturing jobs are already being lost, and if a PTC extension is delayed until the lame duck session, many more losses will certainly follow. The PTC has strong bipartisan support. Congress can get it done now.  We should be focusing on creating jobs, and these energy provisions will let companies plan and hire people. There's absolutely no excuse to wait - let's do it now."

The Wind Powering American Jobs Act would extend the Production Tax Credit through 2013, providing a 2.2-cent-a-kilowatt-hour credit for electricity produced by wind turbines. Under the measure, wind project developers could continue to choose to instead receive a 30 percent investment tax credit. The Production Tax Credit, established in 1992, has helped lead to tremendous growth within the windy energy industry. The extension is paid for by repealing dual capacity taxpayer benefits for the Big Five integrated oil companies, which continue to reap record profits.

The Hire Now Act would provide a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012. Under the legislation a firm can increase its payroll by either hiring additional workers or raising the salary of existing workers. The credit is targeted to middle class jobs and wages and because the credit is based on Social Security wages, companies would receive no credit for wages above $110,100. It would be paid for by repealing the LIFO method of inventory accounting and intangible drilling costs for the Big Five integrated oil companies.

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