The House Ways and Means Committee this week released a new end-of-year tax package, adding a suspension of the Health Insurance Tax through 2021 to long-term extensions of tax incentives for biodiesel and short line railroads.
The Farm Bureau-supported HIT delay addresses one of farmers and ranchers’ major concerns with the tax—its steep cost.
“The Health Insurance Tax has increased health insurance costs for farmers, ranchers and other small business owners by imposing a levy on the net premiums of health insurance companies that is passed on to consumers,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall wrote earlier this year in a letter to House lawmakers.
The latest package would make permanent the railroad track maintenance tax credit. The provision is modified so that it provides a 30-percent credit to medium and short line railroads for track maintenance spending. The drop in the credit from 50 percent to 30 percent is offset by the permanency of the credit.
In addition, the new measure would extend through 2021 the $1.00-per-gallon credit for biodiesel used or sold by the taxpayer or blended with diesel to produce a biodiesel mixture used or sold by the taxpayer.
In a letter to House members earlier this month, Duvall urged them to advance tax extenders for biodiesel and short line railroads with the goal of passing them into law before the end of this session.
A handful of Farm Bureau-supported tax extenders—including the second-generation biofuel producer credit, the credit for electricity produced from certain renewable resources and the special allowance for second-generation biofuel plant property—are not part of the new bill, but they could be added to other legislation Congress is moving forward.