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Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 - Business Provisions

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 carries with it incentives and tax support for green and renewable energy.

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After a fingernail biting week, Congress passed and President Bush signed The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, in October 2008. This historic financial markets rescue bill also includes over 100 tax provisions and over $150 billion in separate tax breaks. Over 290 changes to the Tax Code were tacked onto this economic package....including some green industry support.

In addition to the major tax provisions that directly address financial bailout measures, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 includes an alternative minimum tax patch, extensive tax extenders, energy incentives, disaster relief, and more.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act’s $150 billion in tax incentives impacts both individuals and businesses. Approximately $44 billion in offsets mean tax increases for certain groups.

Energy Incentives

The new law extends a host of energy tax incentives, some targeted to consumers and others to producers and manufacturers. Many of the extensions go beyond the one or two year periods that Congress authorized for non-energy extenders.

Energy Efficiency and Property

The new law extends several energy efficiency and energy property tax incentives.
  • Code Sec. 179D deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings is extended through December 31, 2013.
  • Code Sec. 25D residential energy efficient property credit is extended through December 31, 2016, along with adding incentives for residential small wind investment and geothermal heat pumps and authorizing taxpayers to use the credit to offset AMT.
  • Code Sec. 25C residential energy property credit for property placed in service in 2009 was reinstated.
  • Congress modified the energy efficient appliance credit for manufacturers of qualifying dishwashers, clothes washers, and refrigerators.
The new law expands the definition of some of the renewable energy sources, such as biomass, enabling more producers to qualify for the tax incentives.

Renewable Energy

  • The credit was extended for producing electricity from qualified wind facilities through December 31, 2009
  • Credits for producing electricity through biomass and other qualifying renewable sources through September 30, 2011
  • The credit for solar energy, fuel cell, and microturbine property is extended through December 31, 2016.


Employees can exclude certain employer- provided transportation fringe benefits from income, such as transit passes and van pooling. The new law extends this treatment to employer-provided transportation fringe benefits paid to employees who commute by bicycle. The exclusion amount is $20 per month, effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2008.

Other Energy Incentives

  • Coal gasification investment credit
  • Clean renewable energy bonds
  • Steel industry fuel
  • Alternative fuels credit
  • Alternative refueling stations credit
  • Percentage depletion for marginal wells
  • Refinery expensing
  • Excise tax on coal to fund Black Lung Disability Trust
  • Plug-in electric drive vehicles
  • Non-hydrogen alternative fuel refueling

National Disaster Relief

Taxpayers affected by natural disasters (after December 31, 2007, and before January 10, 2010, with some exceptions) may be eligible for increased expensing for qualified disaster expenses, special depreciation, enhanced NOL carryback, and other targeted tax breaks.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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