Every major budget bill gets larded up with some pretty strange stuff, made even stranger when those budget bills are supposed to be in the name of deficit reduction. With that in mind, here are a few of the under-reported provisions
in the fiscal
- $9 billion for a provision that "allows manufacturers and banks to defer taxes when they engage in a special type of financial transactions known as 'active financing.'" Active financing can apparently help and encourage firms to create jobs overseas.
- Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will continue to get a kick-back on sales from "all rum produced in or imported to the United States" through the continuation of an excise tax first introduced in 1917.
- An extension of tax-exempt financing for the "Liberty Zone," the area around the former World Trade Center. "[A] recent Bloomberg investigation found the bonds have mostly helped finance new luxury apartments, not to mention the construction of Goldman Sachs’ new headquarters."
- A continuation of a tax break for building car racing tracks. That hasn't cost a lot in the past two years, $43 million, but it's not peanuts, either.
- About $1 million to make coal production on Indian lands be considered "alternative" energy so that it can continue to be subsidized.
There are some good ones, too, like allowing employers to subsidize employee use of mass transit at the same level as parking. Yes, up until now "your employer could cover up to $240 per month in parking expenses tax-free," but "if you took the bus, your employer could only cover $125 in expenses per month tax-free." And the extension of the tax break for Hollywood filmmakers to make a portion of their movies in America. Because USA, USA!