U.S. Companies Urge Congress to Make R&D Tax Credit Permanent

Companies say 'now is not the time to back away from the spirit of invention'

More than 400 companies and business organizations from across the U.S. this week urged Congress to approve legislation to strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit before it expires on December 31, 2009.

More than 70% of the benefits of the credit are attributable to the salaries of workers performing U.S. based research, according to the R&D Credit Coalition.

In a letter sent to Congressional leadership and every member of the U.S. Congress, the companies wrote:

"The R&D tax credit encourages businesses of all sizes to undertake cutting-edge research projects in the United States. R&D is the very lifeblood of our knowledge economy. At a time when the American economy is weak, research and development across industry sectors makes it possible to create and maintain good, high-paying jobs at home and sharpens the ability of companies to compete in the global marketplace.

"Failure to enact a permanent and strengthened credit will have significant negative consequences for the U.S. economy and threatens investments we need to make in important areas of the economy such as renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, health care, biotechnology, manufacturing processes, and information and communications technologies. Now is not the time to back away from the spirit of invention. Now is the time to embrace it wholeheartedly. Businesses need certainty to make long-term, high risk investments in the U.S. Furthermore, a strengthened credit will be more competitive with incentives provided by other countries that are vying for research investment dollars.

We respectfully urge you to approve legislation to strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit as soon as possible."

Earlier this year, President Obama said that the R&D Credit "returns $2 to the economy for every dollar we spend. Yet over the years we've allowed this credit to lapse or we've extended it year to year -- even just a few months at a time. Under my budget, this tax credit will no longer fall prey to the whims of politics and partisanship."

The R&D Credit Coalition is a group of more than 100 trade and professional associations along with small, medium and large companies that collectively represent millions of American workers engaged in U.S.-based research throughout major sectors of the U.S. economy, including aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, chemicals, electronics, energy, information technology, manufacturing, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, software and telecommunications. http://www.investinamericasfuture.org/

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