A Good Tax Credit for Small Business, Large Business and Residential Advancement
Throughout the 2012 campaign, dramatics about taxes where abound in full force. They continued into and around the fiscal cliff crisis and in the end, we all got taxed one way or another. However, it is not often that we hear about how our taxes are making a difference beyond the necessities, such as municipality services. One industry that is breathing a sigh of relief is the Green industry, particularly wind energy. A tax credit (our taxes cover tax credits) was given in the 11th hour of the fiscal cliff powwow. It would be too long to list the many tax credits that are currently wasting our tax dollars, yet this one is the good tax credit.
The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 included a nail biting, unexpected extension of energy efficiency tax credits that had expired at the end of 2011. Twelve provisions were cited covering everything from energy efficient plug-in appliances to plug-in cars to biodiesel to alternative fuel production. It was a lift that, if voted down, could have had devastating effects on the continued and acquired progress of so many essential advancements. Some feel that free enterprise should not be subsidized by the government and were adamant about letting the chips fall where they may which, essentially, was a ‘fend for yourself’ approach. What many of these decision makers and laypeople alike do not understand is that the fossil fuel companies (which, let’s face it, are most likely lining the pockets of such with campaign finance promises or flat out, maybe roundabout, gifts) rule the energy game. A tax credit still gives these alternative energy companies a leg to stand on…for now.
Another excellent thing about this good tax credit is that it gives a monetary incentive to each residence regarding energy efficiency change. For example, up to 10% is covered of the cost of purchasing such items as certain Energy Star certified appliances or materials; new energy efficient windows; heat pumps; air conditioners; water heaters; and many more.
Tax credits are also being extended to small and large businesses alike. Green construction which deals in energy efficient residential/business renovation as well as new structures is awarded various credits under the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TAP). This can be applied to an assortment of applications including solar, wind, electric, battery, and sustainable material usage. Manufacturers that boost production of highly efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, driers and even clothing also fall under this tax credit advantage.
To Infinity and Beyond
Many of these tax credits can be applied to 2012 as well as 2013 purchases/renovations however the future of monetary assistance is unclear. As our government wrangles with a hornet’s nest of financial fixes, immediate satisfaction may trump crucial foresight. However, one good sign is the recent support for future tax incentives in the clean energy sector by many Senators at a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing. So the next time you vote it is probably more important to pick your local runner than an overall presidential race. It is the local man or woman who will get your voice into the environmental vote.