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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

House Passes Bill to Protect Americans from Tax Hikes

December 18, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, with the support of Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-06), the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2029: the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act by a wide bipartisan vote of 318-109. The PATH Act will provide families and businesses with the certainty they need and put more money back in the pockets of hard working American taxpayers.

Some key provisions that Costello has promoted over the past year, which are included in the PATH Act:

  • Conservation Easement Tax Incentive: The conservation easement tax incentive provides Pennsylvania landowners and taxpayers with the ability to donate land and property for conservation and historic preservation efforts.  The conservation easement tax incentive is made permanent in the PATH Act. As a co-chair of the Congressional Land Conservation Caucus (LCC) and a cosponsor of H.R. 641: the Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015, Costello has been a strong advocate for a permanent extension of the conservation easement tax incentive.
  • Medical Device Tax: The PATH Act includes a two year suspension of the 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers that was implemented in 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act. The medical device tax has raised the cost of healthcare and adversely affected Pennsylvania jobs and medical innovation. Since Day One, Costello has been an original cosponsor of H.R. 1160: the Protect Medical Innovation Act to repeal the medical device tax and called for its repeal on the House floor in January.
  • Educator Tax Deduction: The PATH Act permanently extends the deduction for K-12 teacher classroom expenses and includes professional development as a deductible expense. Educators in Pennsylvania and nationwide spend nearly $1.5 billion of their own money on classroom supplies and professional development. Costello is a cosponsor of H.R. 2940, the Educator Tax Relief Act, which calls for the educator tax deduction’s permanence. 
  • Charitable Giving. The PATH Act promotes charitable giving by making permanent certain tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes, including contributions of food inventory to food banks. Costello is a cosponsor of H.R. 637: the Permanent IRA Charitable Contribution Act, in support of these efforts. 
  • Small Business Relief. Included in the PATH Act is permanent extension of a key small business provisions including the R&D tax credit and Section 179 expensing. Costello is a cosponsor of both H.R. 880: the American Research and Competitiveness Act and H.R. 636: The American Small Business Tax Relief Act to make these tax provisions permanent.  
  • IRS Reform. The PATH Act includes critical reforms to protect taxpayers and hold the IRS and its employees accountable, including:
    • The ability to fire IRS employees who take politically motivated actions against taxpayers
    • Requiring IRS employees to respect the taxpayer bill of rights.
    • Prohibiting IRS employees from using personal email accounts for official business.

Following passage of the PATH Act, Congressman Ryan Costello released the following statement: “The PATH Act is a significant milestone that will strengthen our economy and communities by providing PA-06 families and small businesses with certainty and relief they deserve. It will ensure that hardworking American taxpayers keep more of their hard earned dollars and not be burdened by immediate and significant tax increases. Importantly, this legislation paves the way for Congress to consider historic reforms to simplify and fix our broken tax code.”

Costello highlighted the conservation easement tax incentive: “Our region has a rich history of conservation and historic preservation, so I am particularly pleased that the conservation easement tax incentive was included in the final passage. This measure will promote the continued preservation of Southeastern Pennsylvania historic lands for generations to come.”

Molly Morrison, President, Natural Lands Trust, commended the conservation easement tax incentive provision: “Choosing to preserve one’s land for the benefit of future generations is a remarkably selfless act. For years, the conservation easement tax incentive has enabled many more landowners to make that choice and we are thrilled that the incentive is now permanent. We extend our sincere thanks to Congressman Costello, his predecessor Jim Gerlach, and the many other members of the Pennsylvania delegation who have been steadfast supporters of this vital conservation tool.”

“Farmers will benefit from the PATH Act, as tax provisions like Section 179 small business expensing, will help farmers free up needed cash flow so they can reinvest in their businesses and make improvements on the farm that reduce costs, increase efficiency and make the farm more financially sound for the next generation on the family farm,” said Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert. “The PA Farm Bureau would like to thank Congressman Costello for his efforts in securing passage on the PATH Act.”

Costello also applauded the suspension of the medical device tax: “Since arriving to Congress, I have made it a priority to repeal the medical device tax that has blunted the growth of innovation, investment, and jobs at companies across Southeastern Pennsylvania. There are almost 600 medical device companies that employ over 20,000 Pennsylvanians in good, high paying jobs. Because of the suspension of the medical device tax these companies and innovators will have the certainty to continue to grow.”

More on the PATH Act here.