Congressman Bruce Braley is calling for an immediate, four-year extension of the federal tax credit for wind energy production.
“One of the most common concerns that you hear from people looking to invest in wind energy is the short duration of the existing tax credit,” Braley says.
The tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2012. Sometime this December Congress is likely to consider a bill that would extend the payroll tax credit which is set to expire at the end of this year. Braley has sent a letter to congressional leaders, asking that an extension of the wind energy production tax credit be included in that tax package.
“So that people looking to make that investment would have a greater assurance of the length and security of that tax credit provision,” Braley says, “rather than have it go through the annual gymnastics of trying to make sure there would be added funding available for those tax credits.”
President Obama went to Pennsylvania this afternoon to give a speech urging congress to extend the payroll tax cut. Braley — a Democrat from Waterloo — says it’s the “type of thing” that should be embraced by both political parties, but Republicans are balking.
“Let’s be honest — right now is when we see a lot of political gamesmanship taking place as people are dealing with the aftermath of the select committee on deficit reduction and it’s failure to come up with a number,” Braley says. “And so I think it will be another political football and we’ll be struggling to find an opportunity to get it passed in the house.”
According to Braley, it’s “difficult to predict” whether all the Republicans in the U.S. House can agree on how to resolve the impasse.
“But Iowans can’t afford these typical political games on a payroll tax extension,” Braley says. “It’s something that going to benefit middle class Iowans and we need to come together and solve it now.”
Without action by congress, the payroll tax workers pay will go back up to six-point-two percent from its temporary rate, which is two percent lower. The average American household is paying about a thousand dollars less in taxes this year because of the lower tax rate.
Braley made his comments this morning during a telephone conference call with reporters.