Iowa’s two current Republican congressmen say chances are good, but not certain that the wind production tax credit which has been a boost to Iowa’s wind industry will be revived.
Congressman Tom Latham expects the U.S. House to vote in December on a bill that would extend for two more years a list of over 50 tax breaks, including the tax credit for wind energy production. “The Wind Energy Tax Credit — that will be included in any final deal or else they’ll have a real problem getting it passed,” Latham says.
Congressman Steve King says the package of tax breaks appears to be in a “good position” for passage. “It’s not a guarantee. It’s my sense the direction that’s is going and the production tax credit for wind would be within that,” King says. “Once they start peeling one from the others, then they throw this thing into a big fight and then there’s no expectation, at that point, that we could put it all back together and get it done by the end of the year.”
The tax benefit for wind power expired at the end of 2013. Late last week a committee in the U.S. Senate started work on a bill that would restore that tax credit for wind production, along with more than 50 other temporary tax credits that expired last year.
Latham warns things may get complicated if some members of congress push to make some of those tax breaks permanent. “In a lame duck session, you never know what’s going to be the final outcome,” Latham says.
The term “lame duck session” is used to describe voting in the U.S. House and Senate that happens after Election Day and before January, because some members, like Latham, won’t be part of the new congress in 2015. After 20 years in the U.S. House, Latham did not seek reelection this year.