Sen. Carper Files Tax Credit Amendments to Boost Research & Development, Clean Energy

WASHINGTON- Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, filed five amendments to legislation currently being considered by the Senate that would extend a number of tax credits that have expired or are set to expire at the end of the year.

In addition to the amendments detailed below, Sen. Carper, in his role on the Senate Finance Committee, worked closely with Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Hatch to include several priorities in the extenders bill that’s being considered on the Senate floor. One crucial provision cracks down on Medicare providers who are collecting payments from Medicare while they have unpaid tax debts. Under this provision, the federal government would have full authority to withhold Medicare payments to pay off a provider’s delinquent tax liabilities. This would save taxpayers more than $800 million over 10 years.


Descriptions for Sen. Carper’s amendments are included below.

Sen. Carper offered three amendments to simplify, extend, and enhance the research and development (R&D) tax credit. The first, offered with Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), expands the reach of the R&D credit by allowing firms undertaking groundbreaking contract-funded research projects in collaboration with other companies to claim a portion of the current R&D credit. This change would open access to research tax incentives to new sectors of the economy. A second amendment strengthens the R&D credit by increasing the credit rate to 25 percent of qualifying research expenditures and would implement a number of other reforms to simplify and improve current incentives for private research. The third R&D amendment targets the R&D credit on projects most likely to boost long-term economic growth, by creating a 10 percent bonus credit for transformative research projects certified by independent national science agencies as being “highly innovative” new products or significant improvements on existing products.

“We must incentivize revolutionary, high-value research if we wish to continue to lead the way in global innovation,” Sen. Carper said. “Private investment in R&D is the lifeblood of innovation; however, the current R&D credit is too small, too complicated, poorly targeted, and not accessible to some research companies. The amendments I’ve introduced would boost private research spending by increasing the value of the R&D credit, while at the same time encouraging more collaborative R&D projects between different research companies and incentivizing high-value research that’s truly revolutionary.”

Sen. Carper, along with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Angus King (I-Maine), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) offered an amendment incentivizing and accelerating offshore wind deployment through a long-term extension of the investment tax credit that would be offered for the first 3,000MW of offshore wind generated in this country.  The amendment is the same text as S.401, the Carper-Collins Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act.

“The offshore wind industry is just beginning in this country,” Sen. Carper said. “In order to reap the benefits of this new industry we must provide far more certainty to these fledgling businesses so they can continue to grow and create reliable, homegrown power, cleaner air and good jobs here in America.”

Sen. Carper, along with Sens. Cardin and Mark Warner (D-Va.), offered an amendment that would clarify previous legislation to ensure waste heat to power technology is eligible for investment tax credits under section 48 of the tax code.

“It’s crucial that we correct the language from the 2008 tax credit extension law to clearly state that waste heat to power technology is eligible for investment tax credits,” Sen. Carper said. “Making this clarification will help reduce harmful emissions, conserve energy, and save industry money long-term.”