A group of Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee plans to release legislation in the next few days to provide tax incentives for renewable energy manufacturers, but they reportedly wont specify how the tax credits will be paid for just yet.
On Monday, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., issued a statement after a meeting of committee Democrats to discuss the upcoming legislation, which aims to encourage the production and use of renewable energy technology and conservation.
We had a very productive discussion and I expect to continue working on a package of tax incentives to spur job creation and enhance domestic manufacturing of renewable energy technology and conservation, he said. I will release a Chairmans discussion draft with legislative language in the next few days. I will also continue discussions with the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee regarding this legislation.
The legislation would extend the 30 percent Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit for investing in renewable energy manufacturing projects until 2014, and extend the ethanol tax credit for another year at a reduced rate of 36 cents per gallon (down from the current level of 45 cents a gallon). There would be an addition 8-cent per gallon tax credit for small ethanol producers, down from 10 cents currently.
But House Democrats are leery of explaining how they would pay for the estimated $22 billion cost of the bill before they campaign for the midterm elections, according to The Hill. During the markup phase, they would have to spell out which taxes they would raise on other sources of revenue, and Democrats may want to wait until September to include the offset provisions in the markup of the bill.
Its unclear exactly how thats going to spare them from answering embarrassing questions about tax hikes and the deficit before the November elections, but maybe by then their prospects will have improved a bit with voters.