Leahy Says Obama’s Plan For R&D Tax Credit Would Mean Jobs In Vermont

‘Seed Corn For Our Economic Future;’ Cites Vermont’s BioTek Instruments’ Example

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WEDNESDAY, Sept. 8) – U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and members of Vermont’s business community praised President Barack Obama’s call Wednesday to renew, expand, simplify and make permanent the federal research and development tax credit.  Leahy said the credit, which allows businesses to write off portions of their revenues spent on research, would help Vermont businesses put people back to work. 

“This is a sensible and fiscally responsible way to create jobs now, with the research work needed for the American jobs of the future,” said Leahy.  “Research and development is seed corn for the economic future we want in Vermont, and the R&D tax credit is one of the most proven job-creating tax incentives in modern history.  It rewards businesses for investing in the research, experimentation and development that puts engineers, laborers and sales people to work today and tomorrow.”  Leahy noted that Congress has attempted to renew the research and development tax credit many times since it expired at the end of 2009, but the attempts have been blocked by Republican objections. 

BioTek Instruments of Winooski, a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of microplate instrumentation and software, has previously benefited from the research and development tax credit.  BioTek Vice President Adam Alpert says, “Investments in research and development are the lifeblood of our company."

Alpert said that BioTek, which employs about 250 Vermonters, strongly supports Obama’s call to extend the R&D tax credit.  “BioTek would employ the credit to help it invest in advanced technologies including laser based multi-mode detection instrument systems,” Alpert said.  “This family of instruments is used by leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to discover lifesaving drugs and therapies and by leading universities in the advancement of basic life science research.  By making the R&D tax credit predictable, we will be able to increase our investment in R&D immediately. This will drive an increase in employment in Vermont in the short, medium and long term.”

Obama said the tax credit would be fully paid for by closing outdated tax loopholes.  The research and development tax credit was created in 1981 and has been extended 13 times, most recently as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday, Obama proposed a package of job-creating tax incentives and infrastructure investments and called on Congress to act on them when the legislative session resumes next week.  In addition to the R&D tax credit, his proposal includes a tax incentive to allow businesses to write off 100 percent of their capital expenses through 2011, and a front-loaded multi-year plan for job-creating investments in the nation’s roadways, airports and railways.

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