American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 – “Fiscal Cliff Bill”

The Senate had only 3 minutes to read 154 pages of the bill before the vote

77% of households will pay an average of $1,635 more in anuual taxes

“tax extenders”, of roughly $205B of tax breaks for corporations.

All told, the fiscal cliff law designed to reduce the deficit, added $74 billion in spending through changes in the tax law.

  • Bonus Depreciation, R&D Tax Credit – tax credit was projected to cost $8B for 2010 and 2011, and the depreciation provisions were projected to cost about $110B for those two years, with some of that made up in later years.
  • Section 209, allows the IRS to share its files with private prisons.
  • extends a key tax credit for wind power for one more year, thus preventing the
    U.S. wind industry from downsizing. – credit will cost about $1.2 billion per year for 10
  • Section 306 – will extend a hefty tax credit to railroads for maintenance work. – this credit costs about $165 million per year
  • Section 312 – a program that allows race track owners to deduct a total of more than $40 billion a year for their tracks, bleachers and concession stands also passed in the bill.
  • Section 307 and Section 316 – offer tax incentives for miners to buy safety equipment and train their employees on mine safety.
  • Section 317 – Television and movie makers can continue to gross $15 million in breaks for filming in the U.S., $20 million for filming in low-income areas, an incentive for Hollywood that costs the country about $430 billion to maintain.
  • Section 322 – an “Extension of the Active Financing Exception to Subpart F.”- allows manufacturers and banks to defer taxes when they engage in a special type of financial transactions known as “active financing.” – basically it allows American corporations such as banks and manufactures to engage in certain lending practices and not pay taxes on income earned from it. The break now costs $9 billion per year – encourages firms to create jobs overseas.
  • Section 323 – an extension of the “Look-through treatment of payments between related CFCs under foreign personal holding company income rules.” – cost $1.5 billion from 2010 and 2011, and the US Chamber loves it. It’s a provision that allows US multinationals to not pay taxes on income earned by companies they own abroad.
  • Section 328 – extends tax-exempt financing for the “Liberty Zone,” the
    area around the former World Trade Center, for another year. – this tax provision was supposed to help fund reconstruction after 9/11 – Goldman Sachs got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds. – “little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp.”
  • Section 406, to continue subsidizing coal produced on Indian lands at about $2
    per ton
  • Section 403 of the bill extends a credit for “2- or 3-wheeled plug-in electric
  • small tax break that gives people incentives to take mass transit
  • employer could cover up to $240 per month in parking expenses
    tax-free, if you take the bus or drive to work – though it will cost $220 million.
  • Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands a total of $480 million in aid for rum production.
  • Congress voted to continue to give 10 percent of the cost of the electric vehicle – up to $2,500 in tax credits to individuals who purchase plug-in wheels.
  • Congress voted to extend $59 million in tax credits for algae growers, who are trying to find a way to produce a biofuel from the plant.

SENATE (89-8)


Michael Bennett (D-Colorado)
Tom Carper (D-Delaware)
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)


Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey)
Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina)
Mark Kirk (R-Illinois)

HOUSE (257-167)


172 Democrats / 85 Republicans


16 Democrats / 151 Republicans

GOP leadership was split. While House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) and 2012 vice presidential nominee and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) voted yes, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) voted no.

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