What the Stimulus Bill Does for Me

The NY Times has a great online summary of the key provisions in the stimulus bill.  I recommend perusing it, since there are some changes that you might find useful.  The highlights I saw are below:

Incentive for car buyers
Allow those who buy a new vehicle in 2009 — with a price tag of up to $49,500 — to deduct state, local and excise taxes as well as interest on their car loan. The tax break is an above-the-line deduction, which means that it can be taken even by those who do not itemize other deductions on their tax returns. The deduction begins to phase out for single tax filers with adjusted gross income of more than $125,000, or $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Increase tax credits for residential energy efficiency improvements
Increase tax credits for purchases to make homes energy efficient, such as new furnaces or insulation, to 30 percent through 2010, for up to $1,500.

Provide coupon to convert to digital televisions
Continue the coupon program to enable households to convert from analog television transmission to digital transmission.

Provide consumers rebates for energy-efficient appliances

Expand tax incentives for residential renewable energy properties
Remove dollar caps on the 30 percent residential credit for solar thermal, geothermal and small wind property.

Equalize mass transit and parking benefits
Equalize tax-free commuter benefits provided by employers for transit and parking at $230 per month for 2009 and index both benefits to inflation. Under current rules, only $120 of the mass transit benefit and $230 of the parking benefit is tax-free.

So, if you’re looking to build a windmill or solar farm in your back yard, use public transit to get to / from work, or buy a car, this is your year.

News Work

Merck Adds Solar Panels; Can’t Give Guidance

In the Merck news category, the overall news is less than stellar these days. On the one hand, there’s some news about Whitehouse Station that should be interesting – we’re adding an array of solar panels in some of the open field area later this year. On the downside, earnings guidance wasn’t provided and clinical trial news continues to be negative overall.