Roundtable Weekly
House Ways and Means Committee Signals Green Energy Tax Bill; Trump Administration Developing β€œTax 2.0” Proposal
January 25, 2020

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) recently confirmed plans to advance legislation in 2020 that would expand and create new renewable energy and energy-efficiency tax incentives.  “We talked about (the markup) this morning,” Neal told reporters on Jan. 14. He added, “We are scheduling events.” (BGov, Jan. 15 and Jan. 24) 

  • The starting point for green energy tax legislation in the Ways and Means Committee is likely a draft bill unveiled last November by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), who chairs the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. 

  • Rep. Thompson’s discussion draft of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act would modify the enhanced deduction for energy-efficient commercial building property (section 179D);create an expanded tax credit for the developers of new, energy-efficient home (section 45L); and modify the tax credit for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes (section 25C).  (Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 22) (Rep. Thompson news release with link to the GREEN tax draft legislation, Nov. 19) 

  • The Real Estate Roundtable and other real estate and environmental organizations are encouraging Members of Congress to consider an additional proposal that would incentivize existing buildings to purchase and install energy-efficient upgrades that reduce greenhouse emissions, generate taxpayer savings, and spur innovation and investment.    

  • Specifically, draft legislation under review would create a new category of energy-efficient qualified improvement property (E-QUIP) that is subject to an accelerated 10-year depreciation period.  The E-QUIP benefit would apply to purchases of modern and energy-efficient HVAC, lighting, and building envelope improvements, such as energy-saving roofs and windows. (Roundtable Weekly, May 10)

Separately, President Trump on Jan. 22 said a substantial middle-class tax cut – referred to as “Tax Cut 2.0” – will be released within 90 days, during an interview with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo at the World Economic Forum in Davis, Switzerland.  (Reuters, Jan. 22)

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC at the same conference, “The president has asked us to start working on what we call ‘tax 2.0,’ and that will be additional tax cuts. They’ll be tax cuts for the middle class, and we’ll also be looking at other incentives to stimulate economic growth.”  (CNBC, Jan. 23)

  • Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, told FOX Business' Liz Claman on Jan. 17 that "The president directed me to produce what we're calling 'tax cuts 2.0.’  It will be published sometime during the campaign, has a message for future Trump economic growth policies, particular emphasis on the middle class in his second term."

  • A legislative path toward passage of individual tax bills in an election year is very narrow, but separate tax proposals by Congress and the White House could culminate in an end-of year compromise package. 

Tax issues for 2020 will be a focus at next week’s Roundtable State of the Industry Meeting in Washington – both during the Jan. 28 business meeting and the Jan. 29 Tax Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) meeting.  

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