FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Applauds Passage of Gulf Region Tax Relief and Tax Technical Corrections
Measure Strengthens Communities' Ability to Rebuild after Hurricanes
Washington, D.C. (December 19, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauded Congress for passing much-needed legislation to provide beneficial tax relief to individuals and small businesses affected by Gulf Coast hurricanes. ICBA praised the inclusion of the Tax Technical Corrections bill also passed with this Gulf legislation.
"This tax relief is an important step in the stabilization and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Region," said David E. Hayes, ICBA chairman, and president and CEO of Security Bank, Dyersburg, Tenn. "These measures will help people rebuild their businesses, communities, and homes."
Working with the input of community bankers and small businesses in the Hurricane-affected areas, the ICBA crafted more than fifty policy measures designed to best provide relief and support, including key tax relief measures. (See ICBA Katrina recommendations at www.icba.org).
Specifically, ICBA urged House and Senate lawmakers to combine and pass the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 (HR 4440) and the Tax Technical Corrections Act of 2005 (HR 3376) and was pleased Congress enacted both. The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act includes ICBA-recommended provisions to increase tax-exempt bond authority, double small business immediate expensing, allow a five-year net operating loss carryback, and allow employers a tax credit up to $2,400 per employee to encourage employee retention in Gulf disaster zones.
The combined legislation also includes ICBA-backed tax technical corrections to the beneficial Subchapter S tax reforms enacted late last year as part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-357). This will allow more community banks to elect S Corporation status. Currently, about a quarter of the banking industry nationwide is Subchapter S.
Additional information on these bills is available at www.icba.org.