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The United States Senate passed a one-year “extenders” bill Dec. 16, retroactively renewing 55 previously expired tax credits and other key policies for the 2014 tax year. The 76-16 Senate vote echoes the overwhelming 378-46 House approval earlier in the month and sends the bill to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. ABC recently joined more than 500 industry groups in urging the swift passage of such legislation.

Among the newly extended policies important to the construction industry are increased expensing levels under Section 179 and 50% “bonus depreciation,” both of which make investing in big-ticket items easier by allowing businesses to write off large portions of capital purchases on their taxes.

While the measure allows the same provisions to expire in just two weeks, it was necessary to avoid what would have been an effective $42 billion tax increase had Congress failed to act. ABC strongly supported the House approach of making worthwhile policies a permanent part of the tax code. Following the election, a bipartisan and bicameral deal emerged that would have renewed the extenders package for two years while permanently increasing Section 179 expensing levels.  The White House immediately threatened a veto in reaction to the proposal, leading to the current one-year patch.

ABC continues to support comprehensive tax reform that will provide fair taxation regardless of business, size, sector or structure and will end the need for ad hoc, retroactive, and ultimately inefficient temporary tax policy.