Action Needed – Urge Senators to Support Stabenow Amendment (#1812) Extending Tax Credit Incentives for ENERGY STAR Factory-Built Homes

Mhi housing alert

As early as Tuesday, March 13th, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is expected to offer an amendment (#1812) to the surface transportation reauthorization legislation (S. 1813) that would renew the Energy Efficient Home Credit (I.R.C. 45L). MHI members are asked to contact their Senators and specifically request they vote in favor of the Stabenow amendment extending the New Energy Efficient Home Credit.

Specifically, the Stabenow amendment would extend the new energy efficient homes tax credit, the efficient existing homes tax credit, the efficient appliances tax credit, the renewable energy production tax credit, and the offshore wind investment tax credit. The New Energy Efficient Home Credit (I.R.C. 45L) for manufacturers who build energy efficient homes expired on December 31, 2011.

Manufacturers who build ENERGY STAR homes were eligible to receive a $1,000 tax credit while modular home builders were eligible to receive a $2,000 tax credit by exceeding the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by 50 percent.

Continued backing for clean energy incentives is in the best interest of American taxpayers and supports a well-reasoned national energy strategy that improves our economic conditions at home and strengthens U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace. Failure to extend these provisions would inject more instability and uncertainty into the economy and further weaken confidence and put more U.S. jobs at risk.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, MHI joined with a coalition of housing and energy advocates voicing support for the Stabenow amendment.

However, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) is expected to offer an amendment in opposition to Stabenow’s that would eliminate the credits, as well as those for oil and gas production. DeMint offers, in exchange, a lower corporate income tax rate backed by tax overhaul interests.

MHI is seeking assistance to ensure the Stabenow amendment extending the tax credit available for the production of ENERGY STAR-qualified manufactured and modular homes garners the 60 votes necessary to pass the United State Senate.

Action Needed: MHI members are asked to contact their Senators and urge them to support amendment (#1812) offered by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to the pending transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (S. 1813).

Contact information for congressional offices is available at: http://www.manufacturedhousing.org/government_affairs/find_congress.asp

Key Talking Points: The New Energy Efficient Home Credit is vitally important to the manufactured housing industry’s efforts to promote energy efficiency for several reasons including:

• For the highly price sensitive manufactured housing market, these credits are vital to help buyers afford the added costs of purchasing an ENERGY STAR home.

• For manufactured homes, energy costs represent a larger proportion of the total costs of homeownership versus site-built housing; energy price hikes are felt most acutely among owners of manufactured homes.

• For moderate- and low-income households, escalating energy prices are more likely to translate into real declines in disposable income and pose a major impediment to building equity and financial security.

• The energy savings associated with owning an ENERGY STAR home more than compensate for the higher construction costs. Cost savings as a result of lower energy bills can save families thousands of dollars per year.

• The tax credit is viewed by a growing number of state and local government agencies, as well as housing and energy efficiency advocates as a critical foundation for encouraging ENERGY STAR manufactured home construction.

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