Beyond the basic legislation to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, the 157-page document is stuffed with credits and extenders for specific businesses. Bush-era tax cuts will become permanent for all individuals with income below $400,000 and families below $450,000. Spending cuts were delayed for the next two months, and the Alternative Minimum Tax patch was made permanent and to adjust for inflation.
The legislation also included tax credits and extenders from the small and helpful to the downright strange.
Expenses of school supplies or other classroom expenses for elementary and secondary school teachers: Up to $250 of classroom expenses teachers, administrators and aides bought from their own pocket can now be deducted from taxes. Married educators can jointly deduct up to $500 for the tax break, which expired at the start of last year, according to the bill. According to Oct. 2011 data by Maryland State Department of Education, Carroll County employs more than 1,900 public school teachers.
Extension of credit to repair railroads: The provision which was originally created in 2004 gives a credit to avoid abandoning short line railroads in need of repair and instead maintain them, according to the bill. It will continue until the end of 2013.
Extension of credit to train mine rescue teams: The credit gives rescue teams up to $10,000 for the training of mine rescue members. The Mine Safety and Health Administration provides a list of mine rescue teams by state, which was last updated in April 2012. There are more than 3,500 people on mine rescue teams throughout the nation and more than 400 rescue teams, according to the list.
A 7-year recovery period for NASCAR complexes: This tax break, put in place in 2004, has been dubbed the "NASCAR tax break." Anyone who builds a racetrack will receive a tax benefit through accelerated depreciation. It cost taxpayers $43 million the past two years, and has been extended for another year.
Extension to expense film and television productions: Studios in Hollywood and elsewhere can deduct up to $15 million of their expenses if more than three quarters of the production take place in the United States. If they produce the film in a low-income community, they can get up to $20 million in deductions.
Rum excise taxes for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands: According to 2011 data from the Congressional Research Office, there is an excise tax worth $13.50 per gallon on all rum produced in or imported to the United States. In the Fiscal Year 2007, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands combined raised around $547 million, which often goes back into the rum industry.
Extension of American Samoa economic development credit: This credit is offered to domestic corporations operating in America Samoa, according to Sen. Tom Coburn's, R-OK, outline to reduce the deficit. According to the document, it would save $64 million if eliminated.
Extension of a credit for two- or three-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles: This credit is for electric motorcycles and scooters. It covers 10 percent of the vehicle's cost up to $2,500, and only counts an electric vehicle as one that can reach speeds more than 45 miles per hour. The credit will last for electric scooters purchased until January 2014.