Good news came smiling out of Washington, D.C. this week for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program and a number of other tax extenders. Some of you have contacted me with leads and insights, for which I thank you all.
On Wednesday, Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee (a Democrat) and Senator Orin Hatch, the Committee’s top ranking Republican announced that a bipartisan agreement had been reached for the nervously-awaited tax extenders bill.
The next day, the Senate Finance Committee completed its markup of the Baucus-Hatch tax extenders bill, known as the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012.
Of the 73 programs considered in the bill, 21 programs were cut from the final markup (a 25% reduction). According to Senator Hatch’s announcement of the agreement, this reduction marks a trend in the direction of Congress. Referring to Senator Baucus, Hatch states,
“My friend the Chairman has often said we need to get away from being an extenders Congress or a maintenance Congress. And I agree. We should not continue extending provisions in a stop-and-go fashion.”
“You cannot find many people who believe Congress should continue dealing with tax extenders in a business as usual manner. And this markup is not business as usual. The Chairman’s mark reverses the trend on extenders. The tide is turning. For the first time in my 21 years on this committee, we are deliberately moving in the opposite direction.”
Chairman Baucus had similarly cordial remarks.
“The bipartisan bill we’re considering today will extend tax cuts that have expired or will expire at the end of this year for American families and businesses. This bill supports jobs across the country. “
“It took a lot of hard work on the part of every member of this committee. Everyone had to compromise because we all know how important these tax cuts are, and how important it is to provide Americans with certainty about their tax liabilities next year.”
Of most immediate interest to readers of the WOTC Planet: The bill extends both the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the Empowerment Zone program retroactively through December 31, 2013. That’s a 2-year extension.
We’ll continue following the progress of this bill for you.
Description Of The “Family And Business Tax Cut Certainty Act Of 2012”
Markup Statement of Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
Hatch Statement at Finance Committee Markup On Tax Extenders Legislation