Bipartisan Tax Bill Stalls, HTC Advocates Start to Focus on 2025

April 3, 2024

With tax season coming to a close and a presidential election on the horizon, the bipartisan tax bill that passed the House of Representatives earlier this year is facing significant legislative headwinds in the Senate.

The bipartisan agreement, brokered by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, respectively, is a $79 billion tax bill, known as H.R. 7024 – the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act.

It is a two-year compromise aimed at aligning various expired tax extenders.

The bill lays much of the groundwork for 2025, when Congress is expected to take up broad-reaching tax policy in anticipation of the expiration of several fundamental provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Key components of the current bipartisan compromise include provisions for business investments, child tax credits, and affordable housing, funded by adjustments to the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

While the bill passed the Ways and Means committee 40-3, and then cleared the full House with strong bipartisan support in a 357-70 vote, its fate in the Senate remains uncertain.

Longtime champion of the Historic Tax Credit, Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced, but later withdrew, an amendment that would have added the Historic Tax Credit Growth and Opportunity Act (HTC-GO, H.R. 1785 / S. 639) to the legislation.

The amendment was withdrawn to avoid adding to the cost of the bill and threatening the delicate bipartisan support for the broader legislation.

With strong lobbying from the business community and child tax credit supporters, some Senators have indicated support for the bill’s passage while others have called for modifications to the bill to earn their support.

The fate of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act in the 118th Congress is uncertain, but the debate around the legislation will inform how the House and Senate tax-writing committees approach tax legislation that will be necessary in 2025 to avoid the expiration of major tax provisions enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Historic tax credit advocates are considering longer-term strategies to build support for the incentive and deepen ties with existing supporters.

Announcing the 2024 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

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