Tax cuts package extends ethanol incentives

The $858-billion package includes a one-year extension on a tax credit that pays 45 cents per gallon for ethanol blended into gasoline, a move that’s estimated to cost about $6 billion. Congress also extended a tariff on foreign-made ethanol. Industry officials say the credits help ethanol stay competitive with oil and preserve jobs tied to ethanol plants.

The major national ethanol subsidy — called the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, or VEETC — pays 45 cents per gallon to ethanol blenders. Ethanol supporters estimate that leads to a 4.5 cent per gallon decrease at the pump.The tax-cut package also extends credits for small ethanol producers and owners of alternative fuel vehicles. And it keeps a tariff of 54 cents per gallon on ethanol made outside the United States.