Congress yesterday passed and President Trump signed legislation providing for a retroactive biodiesel blenders' tax credit for 2017, leaving the credit's status in 2018 and beyond uncertain. The measure was included as part of a larger budget package that will keep the federal government funded for the foreseeable future.
"This is definitely a mixed bag," said David Fialkov, NATSO's Vice President of Government Affairs. "We had been hoping that we'd at least get a two-year deal for 2017 and 2018 to provide our members some certainty surrounding blending economics for 2018. But the fact is this is a big victory for our industry."
Fialkov added that NATSO will continue to push for a multi-year phaseout of the blenders' tax credit. "We'll get another bite at the apple to be sure," Fialkov said. "Right now we just need market certainty, and a multi-year phaseout is the best way to achieve that."
The legislation directs the IRS to issue guidance within the next 30 days detailing how biodiesel blenders can claim the tax credit; NATSO will provide details on these processes as they become available.
The legislation passed yesterday, which is likely to be the last major congressional achievement before the 2018 midterm elections, also would raise strict budget caps on military and domestic spending that were imposed in 2011 as part of a deal with President Barack Obama. Republicans, including current Speaker Paul Ryan, at the time touted the caps' positive impact on the budget deficit and national debt; the deal reached yesterday would raise the caps by approximately $300 billion over two years. The limit on military spending is increased by $80 billion in FY 2018 and $85 billion next fiscal year (which begins Oct. 1). The limit on domestic discretionary spending would increase by $63 billion this fiscal year and $68 billion next year.
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