Koch groups: Congress shouldn't renew expired tax breaks

Koch groups: Congress shouldn't renew expired tax breaks

Groups backed by wealthy GOP donor Charles Koch are urging Congress not to renew expired tax breaks, as lawmakers may consider reviving some or all of them during the lame-duck session.

The expired provisions "provide special interest tax breaks and unfairly pick winners and losers by propping up select industries and companies over others," officials with Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce said Monday in a letter to House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — McConnell, Kaine offer bill to raise tobacco buying age to 21 | Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states | Pro-ObamaCare group launches ad blitz to protect Dems MORE (R-Ky.).

More than two dozen tax provisions, known as "tax extenders," expired at the end of 2017, including tax breaks that benefit the renewable energy, motorsports and horse racing industries. Congress often passes one- or two-year extensions of tax extenders during the final weeks of a year.

Outgoing House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyMicrosoft, other business leaders head to Capitol Hill in support of carbon tax House to vote on retirement bill next week House chairman issues subpoenas for Trump's tax returns MORE (R-Texas) told reporters last week that he's developed a "draft package" about which of the expired tax breaks he thinks should be renewed and which should be eliminated following the enactment of Republicans' tax-cut law last year. He also said it's unclear what appetite Congress will have to address the expired provisions in the lame-duck session.

The groups in the Koch network compared the expired tax breaks to the incentives — criticized by a number of politicians and groups — that New York and Virginia are going to give Amazon to locate new offices in their jurisdictions.

"Americans across the country, including lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, have rightfully decried the billions of dollars in corporate welfare given to Amazon," the Koch groups wrote. "The billions more that are up for renewal in the tax extender package are no different."

The groups also said that the temporary tax provisions "have no place in a post-tax reform world."

The letter from Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners follows a statement that Koch Industries released last week urging Congress not to renew the tax extenders, particularly one that benefits electric vehicles.

But a coalition of businesses and groups led by the Alliance to Save Energy sent a letter to lawmakers last week urging them to renew and update expired tax breaks that provide incentives for energy efficiency. The groups argued that the tax provisions "stimulate economic activity by encouraging efficiency projects and upgrades in homes and buildings across the country while ensuring reduced energy consumption in the built environment for decades to come."