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Senate Considers Tax Breaks

DANIEL LOOKER 05/12/2014 @ 11:00pm Business Editor

The Senate is considering passage of more than 50 expired tax breaks. It has already voted today to advance the bill, nearly unanimously (96-3). Senator Chuck Grasley (R-IA) said before the vote that the bill would extend tax breaks that expired last December, including several that affect agriculture--credits for wind energy and biodiesel and the higher level of Section 179 expensing for new machinery that was in effect for 2013. Grassley said the Senate bill would restore Section 179 expensing to $500,000. Currently, it's at $25,000.

Grassley, a strong supporter of wind energy and biodiesel, said the loss of tax credits, even if it's temporary, has hurt some industries.

"The uncertainty it creates for the renewable energy industry has slowed its growth," he told reporters Tuesday.

Grassley said he's confident that there are enough votes in the Senate to proceed on the bill but he's not certain if there are enough for passage.

Some members of his own party object to picking winners and losers in the economy with tax credits, he said. And there is opposition to the wind energy credit.

The bill would have to be approved or reconciled with tax measures in the House of Representatives, which has passed some tax credits and voted to make them permanent but is taking a piecemeal approach.

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