Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bio-fuel in the Health Care Bill?

Many of us in the tax industry are confused this morning, because of a $24 billion bio-fuel tax credit that was added to a health care bill making it’s way through Congress. The modification was made recently, but there already dozens of bloggers who have spoken out about this fishy addition to the health care reform bill. You can read coverage on this developing story from The New York Times here and here, or checkout a segment below.

A measure that could save the federal government $24 billion in bio-fuel tax credits over 10 years by restricting the eligibility of a controversial fuel was attached last night to health care reform legislation making its way to the House floor this week.

Language included in the manager's amendment would restrict the paper industry from claiming a lucrative incentive for use of a fuel known as "black liquor."

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a member of the House Democratic leadership, introduced the measure as a stand-alone bill (H.R. 3985) this week that would formally restrict the paper industry from eligibility for the $1.01-per-gallon cellulosic bio-fuel tax credit included in the 2008 farm bill.

The estimated $24 billion in tax credit savings could be used to offset costs of the health care bill, Van Hollen said.

"In addition to supporting homegrown renewable energy, it is my hope that this legislation will be added to the manager's amendment for the House health care reform package making its way to the floor this week so that the savings generated by these improvements can help pay for health care for all Americans," Van Hollen said in a statement yesterday before the amendment was released.

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