GEO Signs Coalition Letter Urging Tax Extenders Passage

The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) has joined hundreds of association signatories to a letter sent by the Broad Tax Extenders Coalition to Congress, urging passage of “tax extenders bills” already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and under consideration by the U.S. Senate. The bills would reinstate and extend several tax incentives that expired last year, including important provisions for geothermal heat pumps (GHPs).

Section 179 expensing and 50% additional first-year depreciation (bonus depreciation) for a variety of “qualified property” expired on Dec. 31, 2013. Before that under Section 179, a business could tax expense up to $500,000 for the year a GHP was installed. And under bonus depreciation, a business could deduct 50% of the cost of a GHP in the first year of its installation.

Last July, the House passed HR 4718 to make permanent the first-year, 50% bonus depreciation for qualified property (including GHPs). Last April, the Senate Finance Committee passed by voice vote the “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act,” which would extend a number of energy related tax breaks, including an extension of Section 179. GEO hopes the Senate will consider in December a proposed two-year extension through 2015 (retroactive to the expiration of the incentives at the end of 2013).

In signing the Broad Tax Extenders Coalition letter, GEO joined the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, the Natural Resources Defense Council and more than 500 other diverse associations representing aerospace, agriculture, auto, aviation, biomass, builders, business, chemicals, cities, commerce, concrete, energy, finance, homeowners, hospitality, housing, hot geothermal, lumber, manufacturers, metals, natural gas, petroleum, taxes, technology, telecom, vehicle dealers, and wind.

The coalition letter said: “The undersigned organizations, representing millions of individuals, businesses of all sizes, community development organizations and non-profit organizations, urge Congress to act in the Lame Duck session to extend seamlessly, enhance or make permanent the expired and expiring tax provisions. These tax provisions are critically important to U.S. jobs and the broader economy.

“Failure to extend these provisions is a tax increase. It will inject instability and uncertainty into the economy and weaken confidence in the employment marketplace. Acting promptly on this matter in Lame Duck will provide important predictability necessary for economic growth.

“The expired provisions should be renewed as soon as possible this year to enable implementation in time for the normal tax filing season. A delay in the tax filing season will delay tax refund checks and spending decisions, resulting in an immediate negative impact on the economy.

“We urge all members of Congress to work together to extend seamlessly, enhance, or make permanent, these important tax provisions this year to provide a necessary bridge to comprehensive tax reform.”