Murkowski Votes For Tax Certainty for Alaskans

Senator Also Supports Legislation She Co-Sponsored Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Senator Murkowski today joined 75 of her colleagues in passing H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, a one-year bill to extend over 50 now-expired individual, business, and energy-related tax code provisions for this calendar year. Though she supported this measure to protect Alaskans from an unwelcome tax hike in their 2014 returns, Murkowski believes the bill only underscores the need for comprehensive tax reform in the next Congress.  The bill also includes the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, to provide additional financial options to persons with disabilities.

“While do not believe eleventh hour bills like this are the way to legislate responsible tax policy, the economic harm on Alaskans of having tax deductions disappear was something that had to be avoided,” said Murkowski.  “Though I am concerned the bill benefits a number of small, questionable interests – which we must get a handle on – it contains many provisions to help our hard-working families and small business owners and we owe it to our taxpayers to provide this certainty as we get ready to start the 2014 tax season.”

Senator Murkowski also objected to the full extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy included in the bill, saying “This is the last time I intend to vote for a full extension of the wind PTC.  Wind is an important but increasingly mature technology. Instead of retroactive renewals, we should be focused on the rapid phase-out of this increasingly-costly provision.  That will save taxpayer dollars - and help drive the innovation and cost-cutting needed for this industry to stand on its own.”


The Tax Increase Prevention Act contains some provisions to help working families – like the state and local sales tax deduction, college tuition deduction, making purchasing school supplies a tax deductible expense for school teachers, and the discharge of mortgage indebtedness from gross income.  The bill also contains provisions that help out Alaska’s small business economy, like bonus depreciation and business expensing provisions.

Senator Murkowski co-sponsored the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in the Senate, which allows for the creation of tax-preferred disability savings accounts for qualified expenses, including education, housing, transportation and medical expenses. ABLE accounts would operate similar to 529 higher education savings plans.  The bill also supplements other benefits for persons with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for much needed benefits, including Social Security and Medicaid benefits.

“I was proud to have co-sponsored this legislation and am pleased to support its final passage.  The ABLE Act will help level the playing field for those persons with disabilities by allowing them to save for education, medical, transportation and housing expenses – all in the interest of supporting them reach a better quality of life.”