Congress Pares Back Tax Credits for 2011
Like the Senate on Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation last night extending the Bush tax cuts for another two years. Expected to be signed by President Obama today, the final bill features a tax credit of up to $200 for Energy Star-qualified windows and skylights and up to $500 for Energy Star-qualified doors for 2011.
"WDMA members and staff worked with Hill allies to attempt to restore the full value of the 25c credit to the current level of 30 percent up to $1,500, but unfortunately Congressional leadership did not allow for an open amendment process on the compromise tax measure which prevented our supporters from seeking an amendment restoring the current level," says Michael O'Brien, president, Window & Door Manufacturers Association. "While many members of Congress supported our efforts to preserve jobs and promote energy efficiency, they could not overcome the procedural roadblocks."
"Unfortunately, the credit was a victim of the relentless pursuit of budget savings," adds David Walker, vice president of the Window & Door Dealers Alliance.
There is little doubt, says Rich Walker, American Architectural Manufacturers Association president and CEO, that the action to severely reduce the 25(c) window tax credit from $1,500 to $200 for energy-efficient upgrades "will turn back the clock to 2008-09, unleashing the devastating domino effect during the height of the housing crisis."
The industry groups vowed to continue the fight for a return to $1,500 credits. "Homeowners who are currently caught in the crossfire of depreciated home values and a lagging economy will be unable to make these important energy-saving purchases without the assistance of any substantive incentive, and once again, as demand for fenestration products decline, manufacturers will be forced to slow production lines, shutter facilities, and implement substantial cuts to their workforce," says Rich Walker. "AAMA will continue to work with select Congressional members to promote legislation that contains a far more substantial, consumer incentive."
"WDDA has been one of the most active and vocal groups seeking the extension of this important tax credit. Many dealers contacted their members of Congress over the past week to voice your support for the larger tax credit," says Dave Walker. "It may be taken up again in the future, and you can be sure the WDDA will continue to take a leadership role in securing its eventual passage. This credit is too important to our industry, our employees, our economy and our environment for us to give up."