Although there is currently no Senate vote on Obama’s tax package scheduled, experts predict that the measure will be taken up tomorrow morning, paving the way for a debate in the House to begin later this week.
The tax package is expected to pass the Senate without trouble. Senator Feinstein has requested that she be allowed to introduce an amendment to the bill, lowering the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) from 45 cents to 36 cents, but even if introduced, experts doubt that she has the votes to pass it. Several House Democrats like this amendment, but it does not have enough support in the Senate.
Therefore, following the Senate vote on the package, the House is set to discuss the bill and with many House Democrats upset with President Obama for the compromise, debate is guaranteed.
Included in the legislation is a one year extension on VEETC at 45 cents, a measure that Illinois Corn Growers Association, other state and national corn grower associations, and the ethanol groups have been working hard to obtain. This measure will help existing ethanol plants by providing blenders incentives to continue blending ethanol and will help consumers by lowering their gasoline costs at the pump.
The package also addresses estate taxes which are currently set back at their regular levels on January 1, 2011. The legislation would re-instate estate taxes for two years by imposing a 35 percent rate on estates worth more than $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples.
Also important for Illinois farmers are measures addressing the biodiesel tax credit, allowing 100 percent business expensing in 2011, and extending current income tax rates and AMT relief.
All indications point to a positive outcome in the House as well. Even as House Democrats expressed their displeasure in the compromise, they have indicated that they will not hold up the legislation because of the divisive issue of estate taxes.
Still, your Congressman needs to know where you stand. If you haven’t yet contacted him or her, please do so and let him know that you support the tax package and how it will benefit you and your farm.
Congresswoman Bean (IL-8): 202-225-3711
Congresswoman Biggert (IL-13): 202-225-3515
Congressman Costello (IL-12): 202-225-5661
Congressman Davis (IL-7): 202-225-5006
Congressman Quigley (IL-5): 202-225-4061
Congressman Foster (IL-14): 202-225-2976
Congressman Gutierrez (IL-4): 202-225-8203
Congresswoman Halvorson (IL-11): 202-225-3635
Congressman Hare (IL-17): 202-225-5905
Congressman Jackson, Jr (IL-2): 202-225-0773
Congressman Johnson (IL-15): 202-225-2371
Congressman Kirk (IL-10): VACANT
Congressman Lipinski (IL-3): 202-225-5701
Congressman Manzullo (IL-16): 202-225-5676
Congressman Roskam (IL-6): 202-225-4372
Congressman Rush (IL-1): 202-225-4372
Congresswoman Schakowsky (IL-9): 202-225-2111
Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18): 202-225-6201
Congressman John Shimkus (IL-19): 202-225-5271