“Regrettably, business as usual prevailed in our efforts to reform these supposedly temporary, annual tax policy changes,” Representative Kevin Brady, the Texas Republican said. “This annual temporary tax circus needs to end.
Some senators and outside groups had also hoped to include measures to improve accountability and transparency in “opportunity zones,” a creation of the 2017 law that were pitched as an effort to boost struggling communities but have at times served to enrich wealthy developers and already affluent areas. None of those measures survived in the final agreement.
Congressional staff said that a broader agreement, including the extension of more tax credits, was at hand this weekend, but that White House officials and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ultimately rejected it. Mr. Mnuchin pushed for any larger deal to include the relief for restaurant owners, they said, but Democrats were unwilling to support it without more in return on their priorities.
“Republicans knew about these major errors at the time, but plowed ahead despite Democratic warnings. Unfortunately, they refused to meet us halfway and agree to changes that would help working families make ends meet,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, said in a statement.
Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said the agreement “may not be the package I’d have pushed for on my own, but it’s a reasonable way forward that provides certainty where before there was only anxiety for many Americans.”
The deal as agreed to includes a few reversals from the 2017 law. It eliminates a tax increase that hit the children and spouses of deceased members of the military, along with a new tax that was set to hit churches and other nonprofit organizations that offer parking to their employees.
Other winners in the agreement include movie, television and theater producers, who will continue getting a tax break that allows them to deduct up to $15 million of aggregate costs. Manufacturers of “energy-efficient” residential homes will also be able to continue claiming a tax credit of up to $2,000 per home. And homeowners who install an electric charging station or other kind of renewable refueling station on their principal residence can continue claiming a $1,000 tax credit.