February 07,2002

President’s Budget Proposal Contains Grassley Tax Priorities

WASHINGTON -- President Bush’s proposed Fiscal Year 2003 budget contains several taxpriorities of Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance.

“President Bush and I see eye-to-eye on most tax issues,” Grassley said. “We agree onkeeping taxes as low as we can, and on using the tax code to encourage job growth, retirementsavings, alternative energy and other quality-of-life issues. I hope to see success for all of these taxitems this year.”

Grassley tax priorities in the President’s budget proposal include:

< A tax deduction for long-term care insurance premiums. This long-time Grassley prioritystems from his work as chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, which under hisleadership documented the high out-of-pocket costs of long-term care and the desire of olderAmericans to use their resources to seek alternatives to nursing homes. His pendinglegislation is S. 627.

< Making permanent medical savings accounts. Grassley has advocated this method of helpingindividuals save money for their health care needs. His pending bill, the Medical SavingsAccount Availability Act of 2001, S. 1067, amends the tax code to: (1) repeal restrictions onthe number of accounts that may be established; and (2) expand the availability of suchaccounts to individuals other than the self-employed and employees of small employers.

< FFARRM accounts. These Farm, Fishing, and Ranch Risk Management accounts wouldallow farmers and fishermen to contribute up to 20 percent of their income in a tax-deferredsavings account, and deduct it in the same year. FFARRM accounts would be a veryimportant risk management tool to help farmers put away money in the years in which theyhave more income to help with their cash flow during the bad years. Grassley has two billsthat would establish these accounts, S. 312 and S. 313.

< Wind energy. The Bush budget proposal extends and modifies the wind energy productiontax credit. Grassley is the sponsor of pending legislation -- S. 530 -- to extend the productiontax credit for energy generated by wind for five years. The tax credit expired Jan. 1.Grassley authored the Wind Energy Incentives Act of 1993, which established the first-everwind energy production tax credit.

< Provide a tax credit for electricity produced from renewable biomass sources. Grassley isthe sponsor of current legislation S. 756, known as the Growing Renewable Energy forEmerging Needs (GREEN) Act, which expands the definition of biomass to agricultural wasteproducts.

< Extend the ethanol partial excise tax exemption. Grassley has a long history of promotingethanol as a clean-burning, renewable, domestically produced energy source. He scored amajor victory for the Midwest when he not only blocked anti-ethanol efforts, but alsocountered by orchestrating congressional approval to extend the ethanol excise tax exemptionto 2007.

< Exclude 50 percent of gains from the sale of property for conservation purposes. Grassleywas one of the original sponsors of legislation to accomplish this – pending is S.1329 -- andlast June held a hearing titled “Preserving and Protecting our Natural Resources,” at whichMark Ackelson of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation testified supporting this proposal.