The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 4, 2013

From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the 'fiscal cliff' bill

By now, we've heard all about the big stuff in the fiscal cliff bill that finally passed on Tuesday. The Bush tax cuts will become permanent for all individual income below $400,000 (and family income below $450,000). The sequester spending cuts will be delayed two months. And so on.

But Congress also managed to include all sorts of corporate tax breaks and other arcane provisions into the final bill, covering everything from electric scooters to NASCAR racetracks to taking the subway to work. Most of these tax breaks were already longstanding provisions - Congress has been working to renew them all year. They're just being extended again for another year (or sometimes two), at a total cost of roughly $77 billion.

So let's take a look at 10 of the more curious tax provisions in the fiscal cliff bill-it offers some insight into how messy the tax code is, and will continue to be for another year.

1. A $9 billion "sop for Wall Street banks and major multinationals"

Check out Section 322 of the bill. "Extension of the Active Financing Exception to Subpart F." Sounds dull, right? Not quite.

As Dan Eggen has reported, this provision, first created in 1997, allows manufacturers and banks to defer taxes when they engage in a special type of financial transactions known as "active financing." The break now costs $9 billion per year, and critics claim it encourages firms to create jobs overseas. But it's a top lobbying priority for companies like GE and JP Morgan, who say that it helps them compete abroad, and it will get extended another year.

Now, there are a ton of other costly business tax breaks in the deal, too, from tax credits for R&D to bonus depreciation (which studies have found are ineffective at stimulating the economy). But the $9 billion active financing credit was arguably the hardest-fought.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee