Recent Vote

Congressman Cuellar Supports Tax Relief Legislation

Measures will assist teachers and families, provide tax incentives for energy production and conservation

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Washington, September 26, 2008 | Annie Boehnke ((202) 225 - 1640) | comments

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar voted recently in favor of tax bills to bring relief to American families and businesses and to provide tax incentives for energy production and conservation. The first measure, H.R. 7060, would extend tax incentives for individuals and businesses to encourage investment in renewable energy and energy conservation. H.R. 7060 passed the House by a vote of 257 to 166. The second bill, H.R. 7006, would affect federally-declared disasters nationwide by providing every area in the country with equal relief in the event of a federally-declared disaster. That measure passed the House by a vote of 419 to 4. 


Renewable Energy and Job Creation Tax Act of 2008

H.R. 7060 provides approximately $15 billion in tax incentives for investment in renewable energy production, energy efficiency and conservation.  These incentives include long-term extensions and modifications of tax credits for solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric and waste-to-energy production, which would help create and retain more than 500,000 American jobs.


H.R. 7060 would also:


  • Allow each taxpayer to claim a credit for each plug-in electric drive vehicle placed in service during each taxable year. 
  • Ensure the continued competitiveness of American businesses by extending the research and development tax credit for 27,000 American companies.
  • Help 4.5 million American families by extending the above-the-line deduction for qualified college tuition and related expenses.
  • Aid 3.4 million teachers by extending a deduction for classroom expenses
  • Help the families of 13 million children by expanding the refundable child tax credit to those earning $8,500 a year (from $12,050 in current law.)
  • Greatly benefit families in the State of Texas by extending the state and local general sales tax deduction.


“This bill lowers taxes for individuals and families during a time when it is needed most,” Congressman Cuellar said. “This brings needed relief to teachers and helps families with children going to college. We are taking a broad step forward to lower taxes while making important investments in renewable energy.”



Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008


H.R. 7006 would require that tax relief be provided on a nationwide basis to locations declared federal disaster areas between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. The program is designed to allow the federal government to be flexible and swift in delivering tax relief to victims of federally-declared disasters, and the bill would affect areas in Texas hardest hit recently by flooding and severe weather.


“Communities across Texas were affected by rain and strong winds during multiple storms this hurricane season,” Congressman Cuellar said. “This bill will give families and businesses tax relief during critical times of natural disaster so that they can rebuild their homes and livelihoods.”


Specifically, H.R. 7006 would allow individuals to claim expanded and enhanced casualty loss deductions relating to federal disasters and would waive annual limits on charitable deductions for charitable contributions made prior to December 31, 2009, in connection with relief efforts for federally-declared disasters. Additionally, businesses would be allowed to immediately write-off certain expenses relating to federal disasters and “carry back” their net operating losses for five years, reducing their tax liability to obtain a tax refund.


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