WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 5,000 employees from U.S. companies focused on research and development today called on Congress to immediately extend and make permanent the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit set to expire on December 31, 2009. The employees represent 135 different companies of all sizes, located in 45 different U.S. states, in a diverse range of industries from information technology and aviation to manufacturing and pharmaceutical.
Seventy percent or more of the benefits of the R&D tax credit go to pay the wages and salaries of U.S. workers performing research in the United States, according to a 2008 Ernst & Young study commissioned by the R&D Credit Coalition. Letting the credit expire at the end of the year would put 120,000 U.S. jobs at risk and cost $45 million in lost economic activity, according to a report released last month by TechAmerica.
First enacted in 1981, the credit spurs U.S.-based innovation and economic growth. It is a critical factor in U.S. companies' R&D investments and furthers the nation's ability to remain globally competitive.
In their open letter to lawmakers, the more than 5,300 R&D employees wrote to urge extension, strengthening and making permanent of the R&D Credit:
"Research and development keeps our companies on the cutting edge of global competitiveness. R&D brought us smart phones, airplanes, vaccines, hybrid cars, the artificial hip and much more. U.S. companies employ high-skilled, high-wage workers across America that depend on the R&D tax credit for maintaining the nation's leadership in biotechnology, manufacturing, technology, and other business sectors in the U.S. If the credit expires on December 31, it will place America's innovation economy at risk.
As President Obama noted earlier this year: 'This is a tax credit that 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. It will be far more effective when businesses like yours can count on it, when you've got some stability and reliability.'
The signatures you see on this letter represent just some of the millions of real people across our nation who have benefited from the credit over the past 26 years. You can read studies and surveys, but we are living proof that the vast majority of R&D credit dollars go directly towards paying the wages of highly skilled American workers. Given our nation's current economic challenges, now is not the time to put the brakes on innovation; it is time to step on the gas. The R&D credit fuels innovation and pays the wages of skilled workers in 17,700 companies across all 50 states and is one of the best ways to stimulate future economic growth.
As you work to boost the U.S. economy, please quickly strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit. We thank you for your commitment to our country and to U.S. workers."
A copy of the letter is available at: http://www.investinamericasfuture.org/PDFs/R&DFILECOPY120809.pdf.
About the R&D Credit Coalition
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. More about the R&D Credit Coalition at www.investinamericasfuture.org.
SOURCE R&D Credit Coalition