July 24,2008

Baucus Updates Tax Relief Bill For Jobs, Energy, Families

Natural disaster relief also a key component of enhanced “extenders” legislation; Finance Chairman calls for passage this month

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today introduced enhanced legislation to promote American jobs, energy, and families with targeted tax relief and incentives. The new bill, called the Jobs, Energy, Families and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 (S. 3335), builds on the Energy Independence and Tax Relief Act of 2008 (S. 3125) that Baucus unveiled in June, and Baucus said today that the Senate bill text can replace the text of House tax legislation to comply with procedural rules. In addition to the original legislation – which protects millions of American taxpayers from getting hit by the alternative minimum tax and provides brand-new incentives for alternative energy, business tax relief to help companies innovate and create jobs, and critical tax relief for families and college students – other provisions provide immediate relief to victims of floods and other natural disasters, replenish the Highway Trust Fund to enable vital infrastructure repairs and more job creation, and require parity for mental health care treatment with other medical treatment in the nation’s health care system.

“This bill will create jobs, jump-start alternative energy, and ease financial burdens for American families, and Congress needs to act on it now. With gasoline over four dollars a gallon and a lot of folks needing work, there’s a big need for this tax relief right away. And while Congress does the right thing for jobs, energy, and families, we can also help hurting families hit by natural disasters and give a long-overdue fair shake for Americans needing mental health care. Replenishing the highway fund alone can be a major job creator,” Baucus said. “Senators who support good-paying jobs, new energy solutions, and America’s working families must vote to pass this legislation before Congress heads home.”

In addition to protecting millions more Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax, the original Baucus bill and the version unveiled today both seek to reduce America’s dependence on increasingly expensive foreign oil by facilitating independent energy solutions, such as the production and use of wind and solar energy, biofuels and carbon sequestration technologies. The legislation also includes provisions to improve transportation and domestic fuel security and energy and conservation efficiency. The Baucus proposal extends tax incentives that expired at the end of 2007 or are set to expire at the end of 2008, such as the research and development tax credit, college tuition deduction, and the state and local sales tax deduction.

See the printer-friendly version of this release for a list of the new provisions in the bill introduced today.