Congress Funds Department of Transportation Through September 2015

The U.S. Congress avoided a government shutdown by passing an omnibus spending bill this week to fund the Department of Transportation, which includes the Federal Aviation Administration, through the end of the fiscal year, or Sept. 30, 2015.

The legislation includes $15.84 billion in fiscal year 2015 funding for the FAA, slightly higher than the $15.76 billion budget for 2014 and $440 million more than the White House request of $15.4 billion. It also includes $6 million for continuing research and testing of alternatives to leaded avgas.

The spending package includes language regarding the Small Airplane Revitalization Act, which became law in November 2013.  Specifically, the FAA is expected to use the resources as requested in the budget request to support the completion of a final rule that advances the safety and continued development of small airplanes, as required by the act, which set a 2015 deadline for the reform of aircraft certification rules.

In addition, Congress extended both the research and development tax credit and bonus depreciation deduction through Dec. 31, 2014; both had previously expired at the end of last year. Businesses may claim tax credits for their research investments through the research and development tax credit, while the bonus depreciation deduction helps companies purchasing a general aviation aircraft to deduct 50 percent of the depreciable value of the aircraft in the first year.

The legislation now moves to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.