Funding is Stalling the Biodiesel Tax Credit

Congress is still trying to find way to pay for extension.

Published on: May 10, 2010

A biodiesel tax credit extension retroactive to Dec. 31 has passed in both the House and the Senate but is stuck for a lack of required offsetting revenue to pay for the credit. House and Senate budget rules are forcing lawmakers to come up with another tax or cut to pay for extending the incentive to the end of this year.

American Farm Bureau Tax Specialist Pat Wolff says neither chamber has come up with a politically acceptable way to pay for it.

"They took those to used them to pay for health care and that's why there is this hole," Wolff said. "All of the good ideas got sucked up into health care and there aren't any good new ones yet."

Wolff says there's urgency to the problem as biodiesel plants close and thousands of jobs disappear.

"This is just one of many, many tax provisions that expired at the end of 2009," Wolff said. "If it wasn't enough that the biodiesel situation was critical, when you add it together with what's happening because these other tax credits have expired, you have something that is very important."

Several lawmakers and farm groups have called for enactment of the biodiesel tax credit extension by the Memorial Day recess, after which a pile-up of other business and election campaigns may make it even harder to get the credit extended.