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Environment & Energy Report

Draft Clean Energy Tax Package Coming Soon, House Dems Say

Nov. 13, 2019, 6:08 PM

A green energy discussion draft under development by Democratic tax writers in the House could be released as early as next week, lawmakers said.

House Ways and Means Democrats originally hoped their agenda this fall would include a markup of a comprehensive incentive package intended to encourage the use of clean energy. No formal legislation has been released yet, but the panel’s chairman said something should be coming soon.

“I think that it’s taking form and I would like to put something out,” Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said Nov. 13.

The discussion draft would serve as a way to solicit the opinion of the industries affected, an aide familiar with discussions told Bloomberg Tax.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a senior member of House tax-writing panel, said committee members agreed on principles but that some specifics have yet to be decided. He compared the package to the ‘Green New Deal’ concept championed by House progressives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

“It’s going to be something very unusual, I’ll tell you that,” Pascrell told Bloomberg Tax. “This is legislation reflecting, basically, the spirit of the green bill.”

EV Tax Credits In

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) said the package will include production credits for clean energy, extensions for wind and solar tax credits scheduled to phase out, and an expanded electric vehicle tax credit.

The current $7,500 per-vehicle incentive for plug-in electric vehicles starts to phase down once a manufacturer sells 200,000 vehicles—a threshold already reached by Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co.

Kildee is the sponsor of standalone legislation (H.R. 2256) that would allow an additional 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer be eligible for a credit of up to $7,000.

Neal indicated that it would affect industries that are covered by temporary tax breaks commonly known as extenders, some of which have been expired for nearly two years. Tax incentives for wind and solar industries have typically been continued through that practice of temporary extensions.

“It incorporates obviously some of the issues that we have traditionally done in extenders,” Neal said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kaustuv Basu in Washington at kbasu@bloombergtax.com; Colin Wilhelm in Washington at cwilhelm@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Colleen Murphy at cmurphy@bloombergtax.com