Sen. Rockefeller champions fiscal cliff tax cut extensions
Tax cuts for economic development, coal mine safety and school construction in the fiscal cliff legislation include:
The New Markets Tax Credit, which has provided more than $55 million in new investments for economic projects in low-income and rural communities, including hardware stores, child day-care centers and local coal mines. The program has created 300,000 jobs in low-income communities.
Rockefeller wrote the legislation creating the NMTC in 2006 and fought successfully to expand it under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.
The Mine Rescue Team Training Credit, which provides up to $10,000 for coal companies to train mine rescue teams and to invest in equipment to help miners return safely from work. This program also pays for about 20 percent of the costs to train miners how to rescue their fellow workers.
The "Election to Expense Advanced Mine Safety Equipment" legislation, which pays half the costs for coal companies to buy new life-saving safety equipment, including: communications systems, electronic tracking devices, emergency breathing equipment, additional oxygen supplies and equipment that measures levels of carbon monoxide, methane and oxygen inside mines.
Rockefeller also mentioned:
The Short Line Rail Track Maintenance Credit, which provides tax credits of 50 cents for every dollar spent by short-line railroad companies to improve their tracks.
Today, West Virginia is the country's second largest producer of railroad ties. This tax credit is especially helpful to rural areas where short-line railroads are often the only transportation available to help companies ship their products.
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, which help disadvantaged communities finance construction and renovations in their public schools.
In addition to these tax credits, Rockefeller pointed out, the legislation also continued unemployment benefits for about 10,000 West Virginians actively looking for jobs.
There are another 29,000 unemployed West Virginians receiving state benefits who could receive federal unemployment benefits until the end of 2013, if they are needed.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.