Senate Passes Final Tax-Relief Bill with Three Key Small Business Tax Incentives Authored by Senator Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Senate passed a bipartisan tax-relief bill this morning (65-33) with three key provisions authored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins that will greatly benefit our small businesses in Maine and across our country, allowing them to invest and create more jobs. The bill will now be sent to the President for his signature.
“Small businesses create the majority of our nation's jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, small businesses generated 63 percent of the net new jobs that were created between 1993 and 2013,” said Senator Collins.  “Small business owners across Maine and throughout our country tell me repeatedly that the constant change and uncertainty in our tax code have hindered their ability to invest and create new, good-paying jobs. I am so pleased that these three critically important tax incentives have been included in the tax-relief bill that passed the Senate with my support this afternoon. These crucial provisions will provide the incentives and the certainty required for our small businesses to successfully create jobs and grow our economy.”
These three important provisions will strengthen our economy in Maine and across our nation and make it easier for small businesses to grow and create jobs:

  • Section 179 expensing will be made permanent at $500,000. Permanently setting Section 179 of our tax code at this higher level will give our small businesses the certainty they need to plan for expansion, invest in equipment, and hire new workers. This provision allows small businesses to immediately deduct the entire cost of newly acquired assets that are purchased or financed during the tax year.
  • “Bonus depreciation” is extended.  Many business assets, from copy machines to tractors and other equipment wear out or “depreciate” with use. Bonus depreciation allows businesses to recover part of the cost of these assets right away, helping to offset the cost of purchasing new equipment. This provision will extend this important deduction for five years, providing much needed certainty for our businesses.
  • A faster depreciation for restaurant improvements is made permanent. This permanent extension will enable restaurants that renovate their spaces to depreciate the cost of property improvements over 15 years rather than 39 years.

Senator Susan Collins, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Ron Johnson, and NFIB President Dan Danner held a news conference yesterday to highlight this critical small business tax relief.  Senator Collins also spoke from the Senate Floor yesterday to underscore the importance of these provisions for our small businesses.
These three provisions were introduced originally as part of the bipartisan Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act, authored by Senator Collins and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). 
The Collins-Casey legislation also has been endorsed by the Maine Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Manufacturers Association of Maine, the Retail Association of Maine, NFIBthe National Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation, and the National Taxpayers Union
These tax incentives are widely supported by small businesses in Maine and leading small business advocacy organizations across our country:

Dana Connors, President of the Maine Chamber of Commerce, stated, “The number one concern of small businesses in our state continues to be the uncertainty and unpredictability in our nation’s tax code. These three tax incentives will help provide businesses across Maine with the certainty they need to hire more workers and invest in growth and expansion.  Thank you Senator Collins for your ongoing advocacy for small businesses.”
Daniel Kleban, the Founder of Maine Beer Co., stated, “Maine Beer Company, like most Maine craft breweries, continues to grow at a rapid pace.  Accelerating the depreciation of our brewery equipment is extremely important to feed this growth - depreciating our equipment faster frees up precious cash, cash we turn around and invest in even more equipment and jobs for Mainers.  The permanent and extended accelerated deprecation measures authored by Senator Collins, and included in this tax relief bill, will help my brewery grow and provide the certainty that is essential to effective and efficient business planning.”
Rob Todd, the Founder and Owner of Allagash Brewing Company, stated, “Federal programs like Bonus Depreciation have been instrumental in allowing Allagash Brewing to continue on a healthy growth trajectory. Very simply, it allows us to recover capital investments over a shorter period and invest more in growth, which translates directly to jobs. We very much appreciate the support the Senator Collins has shown with these programs.”
Patrick Shrader, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Arundel Machine in Arundel, stated, “On behalf of Arundel Machine, our fellow manufacturers and our national defense in particular I would like to thank our Senator Susan Collins for her unwavering focus to pass key elements of tax extenders critical to manufacturing in Maine and nationwide. Section 179 equipment expensing being made permanent and having bonus depreciation made retroactive 1 year and going forward for 4 years creates the certainty lacking for industry over these past few years.”
Greg Dugal of the Maine Innkeepers Association, stated, “We are pleased that once again, Senator Collins has stepped up to help the backbone of Maine’s economy, the restaurant industry. By making sure that three key business provisions are included in the omnibus spending bill, she has lightened the load for Maine’s small restaurant entrepreneurs. Section 179 expensing being kept permanently at $500,000, will allow for many small restaurant employers to upgrade and purchase new equipment that will result in new more highly skilled positions within the industry.  Adding bonus and faster depreciation to the mix will also stimulate our ability to hire more employees in the state’s fastest growing industry.”
NFIB President Dan Danner, stated, “Voting to make 179 permanent is one of the most crucial actions Congress can take in 2015 to help small business. It’s a tax benefit that encourages small businesses to invest in their own growth, which every member of the Senate would agree the country needs. Making that provision permanent has been our top priority for years and we’re very grateful to Majority Leader McConnell, Senator Johnson, and Senator Collins for their strong support.”
Matt Walker of the National Restaurant Association, stated, “The National Restaurant Association thanks Senator Collins for her leadership in promoting vital restaurant tax priorities, which were included in the bipartisan tax package. The Senator’s work on key provisions, including the permanent extension of the 15-year depreciation schedule and 179 expensing, will provide restaurateurs across the country with tax certainty and greatly benefit America’s thriving restaurant industry. The legislation is vital to helping restaurateurs improve their restaurants, build on investments and continue to grow.”