NMMA supports extension of R&D credits

WASHINGTON - The National Marine Manufacturers Association is supporting the passage, in the U.S. Senate, of a sweeping extension on business tax credits for research and development, and relief for middle class families from the alternative minimum tax, NMMA reported in a recent release.

The Senate passed the measure 66 to 31 on Feb. 2 signaling, NMMA said, that these issues will be a legislative priority for early passage during the 109th Congress.

“The Senate did the right thing by stepping up to the plate and passing these important research and development incentives for businesses,” said Monita Fontaine, vice president of NMMA Government Relations. “R&D tax credits have been an NMMA legislative priority as a sound investment for industry to continue pushing the cutting edge in technology and innovation against future competitors in the global market.”

Approved as part of a larger tax reconciliation bill, the Senate took advantage of an opportunity to pass a larger measure than the original legislation introduced in Nov. 2005 - that had Gulf Coast hurricane related relief provisions included - which Congress later removed to pass as separate legislation to speed relief efforts.

This allowed the Senate to boost the amount to $70 billion and extend the tax credits by two years instead of one year in the previous version.

A final tax cut package will still need to be negotiated with the House of Representatives, which in Dec. 2005 passed a similar measure without the alternate minimum tax provision.

Although the negotiations on the two measures are expected to be hard fought, Senate passage is a strong signal that a similar tax measure is likely to pass Congress in the coming months, NMMA said.

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