Congress is expected to begin writing a tax bill in July. The project finance community will be affected by some of the changes

Congress is expected to begin writing a tax bill in July. The project finance community will be affected by some of the changes

May 01, 1999 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Deadlines for House and Senate action are in a budget resolution. The House Ways and Means Committee has until July 16 to report a bill. The Senate Finance Committee has until July 23. These dates are significant because any action to take away tax benefits from corporations often are effective for transactions on or after the date of “first committee action.” House committee chairman Bill Archer (R.- Texas) said he hopes Congress can finish work on the bill before leaving town for a one-month recess in early August. The problem, if the bill is allowed to sit for a month only half done, is that lobbyists will pick it apart.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have already submitted their wish lists of what they want to see included in the bill to the committee staff.

The bill is expected to hit hard at corporations that engage in aggressive tax planning (see next story) and extend a so-called active financing exception that lets banks, insurance companies and finance companies defer US taxes on passive income from offshore investments. It might also extend a section 45 tax credit of 1.7¢ a kWh for producing electricity from wind and add other things, like poultry litter, to the list of eligible fuels.

House republicans fret that the bombing against Serbia is taking away most of the money republicans hoped to use for tax cuts this year. Archer now talks about a “wedge” bill that offers little tax relief this year, but plants seeds that will grow into large tax cuts in later years.

Keith Martin