Early on Wednesday morning, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released text of an omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through FY 2016 and text of a tax extenders package. The $1.149 trillion omnibus not only funds the government, but contains a number of policy riders that are of great importance to NGA members. Among these policy riders was language that would repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for muscle cuts of beef and pork, delay the Cadillac tax for two years, and a delay of menu labeling regulations for one year. Additional details on policy riders can be seen HERE.
The tax extenders package makes a number of important tax breaks permanent, and represents a tremendous victory for businesses across the country, and the independent supermarket industry in particular. Among the tax breaks that were made permanent in the bill include section 179 expensing, charitable deductions for contributions of food, and 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements. For a full overview of the tax credits that were included in the bill, please click HERE.
The House considered the two bills separately, passing the tax bill on Thursday by a vote of 318-109 (see how your Representative voted HERE), and passed the omnibus spending bill earlier this morning, by a vote of 316-113 (see how your Representative voted HERE).
The Senate chose to roll the two bills into one, requiring only one vote on final passage for the entire package to pass. That vote occurred earlier this morning, and passed by a vote of 65-33 (see how your Senators voted HERE).
Thanks to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree for helping to secure a permanent tax credit for Maine companies that donate food. For years, this tax credit had to be reauthorized. Once the President signs the tax omnibus and tax extender bill, companies will be able to claim credit for food donated started on January 1, 2015 and in years ahead.
The President has indicated his support for the spending and tax measures and is expected to sign the bill into law soon.