WASHINGTON — Coin laundry owners looking to dabble in solar energy at their stores have received a new lease on life. Congress has approved tax cuts valued at more than $100 billion, including a host of alternative energy credits and dozens of breaks for businesses and individuals, as part of the recently passed $700 billion bank rescue bill.
The breaks for the energy industry include $1.9 billion for an eight-year tax extension for solar energy, $5.8 billion for other alternative energy sources and $900 million for retooling refineries.
This measure is designed to pay for all the energy tax breaks and about half the business and individual extensions by curtailing tax breaks for oil companies, and by ending deferral of taxes on profits in offshore funds.
Until the bill was passed, it appeared that time was running out on the energy industry and potential customers. The House and the Senate couldn’t agree on an energy bill, and the solar tax credit was set to expire Dec. 31.
However, tax provisions were added to the bank rescue bill to attract Republican votes in the House, where an earlier version of the plan failed by 12 votes, threatening the future of the solar energy tax breaks.
Additional aid to small businesses included in the bill includes raising the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) limit to $250,000 and tax breaks for community banks.