Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Signed By President

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was given final approval by the House today, 263 to 171 vote, and signed into law by President Bush.

Some of the changes in this legislation, of particular interest to the residential construction industry, from the original version which failed earlier in the week include:
-FDIC Insurance: the bill would temporarily increase the federal guarantee for deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000 for banks and credit unions until the end of 2009.
-Tax extenders: the bill contains a package of energy tax extenders, individual and business tax extenders and a one-year extension of the AMT patch.
-Financial Stability Oversight Board: The Senate bill would appoint the Fed Chairman, Treasury Secretary, FHFA Director, SEC Chairman and HUD Secretary to the board. (House version included appointees by the Majority and Minority of the Senate and House).

Tax provisions of particular interest to NAHB include:
-Extension of the credit for energy-efficiency improvements to new homes for one year through 2009;
-Extension of the energy-efficient buildings deduction (commercial credit) for five years through 2013;
-Extension of the credit for energy-efficiency improvements to existing homes for one year through 2009;
-Extension of the New Markets Tax Credit for one year through 2009;
-Extension of the standard deduction for property taxes for one year until 2009 (The housing bill passed in July included this provision for 2008); and
-Extending the expensing of brownfields remediation costs for one year until 2009.

The tax provisions of the bill will extend roughly $17 billion in tax breaks for solar wind and other renewable energy sources ($1.9 billion for an eight-year tax extension for solar energy, $5.8 billion in tax breaks for wind, geothermal, biomass and other alternative energy production and credits of as much as $7,500 for plug-in hybrid vehicle buyers). It includes $42 billion in incentives for businesses and individuals for two years, including an $8.6 billion annual research and development benefit, and it would spare 24 million households from a $61.8 billion alternative-minimum tax due to take effect this year.