President Trump Signs Axne-Supported Bills Included in Year-End Spending Legislation

December 21, 2019
Press Release
Renewals for biodiesel and biofuel tax credits, support for small business and rural development, and repeal of health care taxes are now law

Washington D.C. — Yesterday, President Donald Trump signed into law numerous measures supported by Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) that will eliminate the threat of burdensome healthcare taxes, bring investment to Iowa’s green economy and rural communities, help with disaster recovery and support local farmers, producers and small businesses.

“I’m happy to see measures that are critical for helping Iowa families and businesses in 2020 become law,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m thankful that the President has signed these bills that I supported this year, and I’m proud of the work we have done in the House to get them included in the final law.”

Biodiesel & Biofuel Tax Credits

Provisions to extend the biodiesel tax credit through 2022 and the second-generation biofuel producer credit through 2020 were included in the appropriations package that was signed into law yesterday.

Since coming to Congress, I have made it a priority to address these expired tax credits,” Rep. Axne said. “Farmers are taking it on the chin with the ongoing trade war and the EPA undermining the RFS at every turn. We have seen plants stall or shut down, causing folks to lose their jobs and farmers to lose their buyers. I am glad to see the provision signed into law to bring our farmers and producers some market certainty, create jobs, and set us on a path towards a cleaner environmental future.”

These critical tax credits expired at the end of 2017, leaving Iowa farmers and producers with significant uncertainty. Rep. Axne has consistently advocated for these provisions from the beginning of the year.

Repeal of the Health Insurance Tax, ‘Cadillac’ Tax, and Medical Device Tax

The new law includes a permanent repeal of a mandated health insurance tax (HIT), ‘Cadillac’ tax, and medical device tax. These repeals will protect middle class Iowans from higher health care costs and end the cycle of delays that have spread uncertainty in the health care markets.

“These taxes were looming over Iowans, waiting to see how much their health care will cost in 2020,” said Rep. Axne. “By permanently ending the threat of these burdensome taxes, I am not only making sure Iowa families aren’t paying even more for their care, but also creating stability in our health care.” 

Rep. Axne has continually advocated repealing these taxes. Earlier this month, Rep. Axne wrote to House leadership to ensure that as many as 142 million Americans were spared from the implementation of the HIT.

In July, Rep. Axne voted to permanently repeal the ‘Cadillac’ tax, the 40 percent excise tax on the most expensive employer-provided health insurance plans.

Renewing Tax Breaks for Iowa Craft Brewers, Distillers

The new law extends expiring tax breaks for Iowa’s craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Authorized in 2017, the tax breaks cut per-barrel excise taxes with the largest reduction going to the first 60,000 barrels of a brewery’s production.

“Our small brewers and distillers are the pride of Iowa and helping give us a nationwide reputation as a hotspot for a good local brew,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m happy that their production can benefit from an extension of this vital tax credit.”

Iowa is home to more than 100 craft breweries, supporting thousands of Iowa jobs, and is projected to produce more than 146,000 barrels this year. Earlier this year, Rep. Axne cosponsored the House version of this reauthorization.

Giving Tax Relief to Aid Flood Recovery

The Disaster Tax Relief Act was included in the legislation signed into law, providing tax relief for Iowans affected by the 2019 floods.

“I’m glad that we’re lending another helping hand to those Iowans affected by recent flooding,” said Rep. Axne. “By providing them the means to keep businesses intact, deductions for their damaged property, and other tax help, our families and communities don’t have to worry that a natural disaster will break their budget.”

The bill would help impacted Iowans keep their paychecks coming in by providing retention credits to employers with inoperable businesses that continue to pay their employees. In addition, it would expand deductions for destroyed property, encourage donations to projects in disaster areas, and remove the penalty for early withdrawals from retirement accounts.

The original legislation was introduced in April in the House with Rep. Axne as a cosponsor.

Helping Electric Cooperatives Invest in Development, Disaster Recovery

The new law also includes legislation that would reopen government grants to electric cooperatives (co-ops) to allow for invests in improvements in broadband service or disaster relief.

“Electric cooperatives provide the power for more than 600,000 Iowans,” said Rep. Axne. “Allowing them to partner again with government to build improvements in our communities will help strengthen our energy infrastructure.”

Changes in tax law in 2017 blocked co-ops from accepting any kind of local, state, or federal grant funding without risking their tax-exempt status.

In addition, the new law contains other Axne-supported divisions, including: H.R. 510, the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act; H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act;  H.R. 3851, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act; and H.R. 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019.