On August 2, the Senate Finance Committee approved and reported the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012, a bill to extend expiring tax provisions. The Committee-passed bill includes a provision NCSHA sought extending the 9 percent fixed Credit rate by applying the fixed rate to Housing Credit allocations made before December 31, 2013 rather than developments placed in service before that date, as current law requires. The Committee approved the package by a bipartisan vote of 19 to 5.
Though the fixed Credit rate extension was not included in the Chairman’s Mark despite NCSHA’s and our coalition partners’ extensive efforts, our continued collective advocacy resulted in the provision being offered through an amendment sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and cosponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and John Kerry (D-MA). The amendment, which passed by voice vote with only Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) voting “nay,” was necessary after Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) limited the Chairman’s Mark to provisions that expired in 2011 or expire in 2012, which the existing 9 percent fixed rate provision technically does not.
Only a few amendments were approved by the Committee. Several Committee members offered additional amendments but withdrew them because they were not within the scope of the bill. Several others were defeated during the markup.
NCSHA encourages HFAs and our partners to contact their Senate Finance Committee members, including Chairman Baucus, Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and the amendment’s sponsors, to thank them for securing this important amendment and encourage them to continue to pursue legislation extending this important Housing Credit provision.
The Committee-passed bill also:
- Extends for two additional years (through December 31, 2013) the existing provision excluding military servicemembers’ basic housing allowance from income for Housing Credit income eligibility purposes. This provision applies to buildings located in counties with military installations that grew by 20 percent or more from December 31, 2005 to June 1, 2008 and to buildings in counties that are adjacent to such counties.
- Extends for one additional year, through 2013, the income exclusion for mortgage debt forgiveness on taxpayers’ principal residences.
- Prevents more taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax for the 2012 tax year.
- Extends the research and development tax credit, the New Markets Tax Credit, and other expiring provisions.
Baucus says that he hopes the Senate will consider the Committee-passed bill this fall. Final congressional action on extenders legislation is not likely until the expected lame duck session after the November election.