WASHINGTON – Today the Senate Finance Committee passed an economic stimulus package which includes small business tax provisions championed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Kerry and Snowe introduced legislation last week to increase small business expensing for 2008 and to increase the net operating loss carry back period. The stimulus bill, which allows small firms to use one of these tax provisions, now moves to the full Senate for consideration tonight.

“While we’re working to help families through the housing crisis and get money into their hands quickly we’re also working in a bipartisan way to help small businesses,” said Senator Kerry. “The most effective way to create jobs is to increase the cash flow and encourage investment for small firms.”

“From the onset, I have stressed the role that small businesses will play in our economic recovery,” said Senator Snowe. “America’s small businesses constitute 99.7 percent of all employing firms, provide work for nearly half of the private-sector workforce and over the last decade have created approximately three quarters of net new jobs annually. As Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I aggressively fought to include in the stimulus package provisions that would increase the amount of investments that businesses can write off in a given year and to extend the number of years that a business can look back upon when offsetting gains with losses."

The Senate’s economic stimulus plan includes a Kerry-Snowe proposal to allow companies that are losing money to apply 2006 and 2007 losses to tax returns from profitable years dating back to 2001 and 2002, and receive any applicable refunds. By extending the “net operating loss carryback” from two years to five years, small businesses in desperate need of help will get much needed cash infusions.

The Senate Finance Committee also adopted provisions from Kerry and Snowe’s legislation to increase the amount small businesses can write off their taxes for new investments this year.