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GO Zone extension added to Senate tax package

WASHINGTON — Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) report that their request to extend two important Gulf Opportunity Zone (GO Zone) provisions has been accepted and included in the Senate’s year-end tax extension package.

Wicker and Cochran sought to have GO Zone bonds and bonus depreciation added to the Senate tax extenders measure, which also included extensions of the GO Zone historic rehabilitation tax credit and low-income housing tax credit.

The Senate is scheduled to consider the tax extenders legislation today.

“The GO Zone benefits have been useful in attracting capital to rebuild devastated areas. Five years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the need for these benefits remains,” Cochran said.

The GO Zone bond language is similar to an amendment authored by Wicker and cosponsored by Cochran that the Senate adopted earlier this year. The bond provision would give Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama until Jan. 1, 2012, to allocate tax-exempt GO Zone bonds previously issued by Congress following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

At the Senators’ request, the Senate tax package also includes another provision to extend the GO Zone bonus depreciation tax incentive through Dec. 31, 2011. This extension mirrors Wicker-Cochran legislation (S. 2761) introduced last November. The GO Zone bonus depreciation deduction has been utilized by investors and developers in projects across the Gulf Coast, playing an integral role in economic development. The incentive is available to projects of all sizes, from manufacturing plants, hotels and office buildings to retail stores and apartment complexes. Bonus depreciation tax benefits in the GO Zone expired Dec. 31, 2009. The extension would be retroactive in 2010 to include all costs incurred through 2011 for projects placed in service by the end of 2011.

The tax package also extends the GO Zone low-income housing tax credit to Jan. 1, 2012 and the GO Zone historic tax credit to Dec. 31, 2011.

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