'Small' Sweeteners in the Big Bailout
The Senate-passed version of the "2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," the federal government's attempt to bail out distressed Wall Street investment firms with $700 billion in funding, is full of more than $100 billion in tax breaks designed to win over House members who rejected the bailout the first time around.
Besides billions of dollars for energy tax incentives, forestalling the alternative minimum tax and other large items, there are plenty of small sweeteners in the bill, which are listed here on the Senate Web site.
According to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, among the top 10 most "outrageous" examples of earmark spending in the bill are:
- The extension of a law allowing motor sports racing track facility owners to write-off the costs of their facilities over seven years for depreciation. It would extend the law for two years, until the end of 2009, and cost about $100 million.
- An extension of a rebate program on taxes charged on rum imported from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. A $13.50 per proof gallon tax is applied to distilled spirits imported to the United States. The cost is $192 million.
- The extension of a law that allows residents of states that don't pay income tax, such as Texas, Nevada, Florida, Washington and Wyoming, to deduct sales taxes paid on their federal taxes. It would extend the law for two years at a cost of $3.3 billion.
- A tax-incentive program, allowing full deductions for qualifying proposals, for film and television producers in the United States. The cost is estimated at $478 million over 10 years.
By Derek Kravitz |
October 2, 2008; 7:37 PM ET
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