WASHINGTON-By unanimous vote June 12, the Senate Finance Committee approved a House-passed bill to give tax incentives to small business and aid job creation in that sector. The bill passed the House May 22 by an overwhelming 414 to 10 vote. Among other things, it:
Gradually increases the expensing limit for plant and equipment purchases from $17,500 to $25,000 by 2003;
Reinstates the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, formerly called the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit, which allows companies to take tax deductions for the first-year wages of disadvantaged workers, through fiscal 1997; and
Simplifies pension regulations and Subchapter S corporation rules.
The bill's chances of passing the full Senate are iffy at this point. Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., said he will not let the small business tax bill reach the floor unless legislation to increase the minimum wage also is brought to a vote.
Senate Republicans may sacrifice the former to avoid the latter.
House Republicans were unable to block a 90-cent increase in the minimum wage, to $5.15 per hour, passed May 23.