Federal Legislative Update – CARES Act

Dan Reitz | IOGA Lobbyist

Federal: The U.S. Senate passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the ‘‘CARES Act,’’ the nearly $2 trillion negotiated legislation responding to the coronavirus pandemic and effects on the economy. The House is scheduled to pass the legislation on Friday.

Some Highlights: The legislation continues to provide direct payments to individuals and families, over $350 billion in financial support for small business and additional financial assistance including direct grants through the Small Business Administration, and at least $454 billion of a $500 billion fund for any U.S. businesses, states, or cities for loans and loan guarantees under a new program administered by the U.S. Treasury and lending flexibilities established by the Federal Reserve. The legislation added specific oversight to this fund under an Inspector General appointed specifically for the purpose of auditing the relief funding. Additional specific relief within the $500 billion authorization provides $29 billion to passenger and cargo airlines and $17 billion for industries necessary to national security. The legislation provides over $200 billion in financial aid to local governments, $100 billion in financial assistance to hospitals, and another nearly $340 billion in funding for federal agencies.

There are a number of tax provisions in the legislation that will be of interest:

Section 2302. Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes – This provision allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax they otherwise are responsible for paying to the federal government with respect to their employees for the rest of the year.

  • Employers generally are responsible for paying a 6.2-percent Social Security tax on employee wages. The provision requires that the deferred employment tax be paid over the following two years, with half of the amount required to be paid by December 31, 2021, and the other half by December 31, 2022.

Section 2303. Modifications for net operating losses – This provision relaxes the limitations on a company’s use of losses.

  • Net operating losses (NOL) are currently subject to a taxable-income limitation, and they cannot be carried back to reduce income in a prior tax year. The provision provides that an NOL arising in a tax year beginning in 2018, 2019, or 2020 can be carried back five years. The provision also temporarily removes the taxable income limitation to allow an NOL to fully offset income. These changes will allow companies to utilize losses and amend prior year returns, which will provide critical cash flow and liquidity during the COVID-19 emergency.

Section 2304. Modification of limitation on losses for taxpayers other than corporations – This provision modifies the loss limitation applicable to pass-through businesses and sole proprietors, so they can utilize excess business losses and access critical cash flow to maintain operations and payroll for their employees.

Section 2305. Modification of credit for prior year minimum tax liability of corporations – This provision allows companies to accelerate the timing to claim prior years AMT credit.

Section 2306. Modification of limitation on business interest – This provision temporarily increases the amount of interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns, by increasing the 30-percent limitation to 50 percent of taxable income (with adjustments) for 2019 and 2020.

  • As businesses look to weather the storm of the current crisis, this provision will allow them to increase liquidity with a reduced cost of capital, so that they are able to continue operations and keep employees on payroll.

Section 2301. Employee retention credit for employers subject to closure due to COVID-19 – This provision provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by certain employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19-related shut-down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year. The credit is based on qualified wages paid to the employee. For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees, qualified wages are wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to the COVID-19-related circumstances described above. For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shut-down order. The credit is provided for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an eligible employee. The credit is provided for wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

As of 3/26/2020

Illinois State Legislative Update

Dan Reitz | IOGA Lobbyist

The Illinois House has canceled session for the week of March 30. Committee deadline for House bills has been extended to April 24. 3rd reading deadline for House bills is now set for May 8. The Senate is following the same schedule. Both chambers were scheduled to be off the next two weeks. Legislators were told to be available in case they need to come back into session. Most legislators I have spoken to expect further cancellations.

The deadline for filing state taxes has been extended to July 15 to match the federal filing deadline.

As of 3/26/2020

IOGA Letter to Governor Pritzker – Essential Need for Oil & Gas

IOGA sent the following letter to Governor Pritzker concerning the essential need for oil and gas businesses during this unprecedented time. The product our members produce
is not only vital to our state’s infrastructure but will also help to move and produce the
products necessary to keep Illinois’ citizens supplied with the essentials needed for their lives
at home.

This letter encourages the Governor to careful consider the oil and gas industry in any future directives during this time.

Read the letter here. 

April 1, 2019 Legislative Report

April 1, 2019 Report | Dan Reitz

All the legislation listed below were the bills listed at the convention that were opposed by IOGA.  Each of these bills were either defeated or assigned to a subcommittee and never heard in the committee to which they were assigned.

They have all been Re-Referred to the Rules committee.  They should stay there the rest of this legislative session unless they are reassigned for another purpose. We have several legislators to thank for helping to defeat these proposals.

Bill committee deadline has passed in both the House and the Senate.  There are several bills that we are still tracking that may affect IOGA and our members.  I am still awaiting late action by the Senate and will send a list out later this week.

Legislation:

HB 282 (Rep Gabel-D-Evanston) Amends the Illinois Oil and Gas Act. Defines terms. Specifies information to be included in an application for a well permit. Provides that horizontal wells or wells drilled using directional drilling are prohibited from classification as confidential. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources shall post a weekly notice on its website indicating all permits issued during the preceding week. Specifies information to be included in a well drilling and a completion report for horizontal wells or wells drilled using directional drilling. Provides that, subject to specified provisions, the Illinois State Geological Survey and the Department shall make public well drilling and completion reports for horizontal wells or wells drilled using directional drilling by posting the information on their websites. Sets forth requirements relating to the furnishing of chemical disclosure information to the Survey or Department under a claim of trade secret. Sets forth appeal procedures for the denial of a trade secret request. Provides that information furnished under a claim of trade secret is protected from disclosure if the Survey or Department determines that it has not been published or disseminated or become public knowledge and the information has competitive value. Requires the Survey or Department to adopt rules concerning information furnished under a claim of trade secret to a health professional who states a need for the information and articulates why the information is needed. Provides that the Survey or Department shall disclose information furnished under a claim of trade secret to specified personnel when there is a release of a chemical or additive used for drilling or completing a well and it is necessary to protect public health or the environment. IOGA Opposed

HB 1562 (Rep Guzzardi-D- Chicago) Amends the Illinois Oil and Gas Act and the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Requires as part of the permit application for drilling or hydraulic fracturing operations the written consent of each owner of a mineral interest affected by the removal of minerals in the conduct of the proposed operations and each surface owner affected by the removal of minerals in the conduct of the proposed operations, unless he or she is the mineral interest owner and has provided consent as such. Provides that notwithstanding any other provision of statutory or common law, a person shall not drill, conduct hydraulic fracturing operations, or remove minerals as a result of any means regulated by the Acts including, but not limited to, horizontal drilling, without the express, written consent of each owner of a mineral interest affected by the operations or removal of minerals in the conduct of the operations. Provides for enforcement by the Department of Natural Resources with penalties and cessation of operations for violations, and payment of treble the full market value of the mineral resource extracted in violation to the owner of the mineral interest. IOGA Opposed

HB 2054 (Meier-R-Okawville) Amends the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Tax Act. Provides that monies received under the Act shall be used only for the payment of pension obligations of the State of Illinois. Effective immediately. IOGA Neutral

HB 3238 (Chapa LaVia) Creates the Hydraulic Fracturing Prohibition Act. Provides that no person shall conduct high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations in Illinois. Amends the State Finance Act. Repeals a provision creating the Oil and Gas Resource Management Fund. Repeals the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Tax Act and the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Effective immediately. IOGA Opposed

HB 3383 (Dedich-D) Amends the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Adds a reference to horizontal drilling with fracturing operations. Adds provisions concerning a county board or governing body’s approval or denial for a request to consent for a local siting of a well site and operations. Makes other changes to provisions concerning permit applications, public notice, and public comment periods. IOGA Opposed

HB 3386 (Guzzardi-D) Amends the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Provides that no person shall conduct high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations in Illinois and that any high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing permit issued before the effective date of the amendatory Act is revoked. Repeals the other substantive provisions of the Act. Repeals the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Tax Act and the State Finance Act provisions listing the Oil and Gas Resource Management Fund as a special fund. IOGA Opposed

HB 2728 (Mah-D) Amends the Environmental Protection Act. Provides that the Environmental Protection Agency shall ensure that possible adverse economic, social, and environmental effects on environmental justice communities relating to any permit or permit renewal have been fully considered prior to publishing a draft permit or permit renewal for public comment, and that the final decision on the permit or permit renewal is made in the best overall public interest. Provides that any person or entity seeking a permit or permit renewal in an environmental justice community shall give public notice with specified information to the residents of the environmental justice community. Provides that environmental justice community residents shall have 90 days following a community meeting to submit comments to the Agency. Provides that a permit applicant for permitted activity sited in an environmental justice community shall enter into a community benefits agreement with the unit of local government in whose jurisdiction the permit applicant has applied. Provides that the community benefits agreement must, at a minimum, contain provisions requiring the permit applicant to mitigate the environmental and public health impact of the permitted activity in the environmental justice community. IOGA Opposed

HB 2839 (Gong-Gershowitz-D) Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Provides that unless the action is governed by the procedures or provisions of another statute, a person suffering legal wrong because of a final administrative decision, or adversely affected or aggrieved by a final administrative decision, is entitled to judicial review of the final administrative decision to the same extent, with the same rights and the same responsibilities, as a person who is a party, except that a person seeking judicial review is not entitled to relief if there was a previous public hearing at which the person failed to present his or her position. Provides that to the extent necessary, such a person may provide new or additional evidence to the court for the limited purpose of demonstrating the legal wrong or adverse effect or impairment that he or she has experienced or may experience as a result of the final administrative decision. Provides that the right to judicial review under the new provisions is limited to final administrative permitting decisions made by the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Health, or Department of Transportation that impact the public trust in the waters and lands of this State, State parks or natural areas, threatened or endangered species, surface or groundwater quality, air quality, or other matters affecting the right to a healthful environment under the Illinois Constitution. Makes a corresponding change in a Section concerning the scope of review. IOGA Opposed

HB 3093 (Moeller-D) Amends the Public Utilities Act. In its determination of public convenience and necessity for a proposed pipeline or facility designed or intended to transport crude oil and any alternate locations for such proposed pipeline or facility, requires the Illinois Commerce Commission to consider any evidence presented by a party or other entity that participates in the proceeding regarding the impact of the proposed pipeline or facility on environmental externalities. Provides that “environmental externalities” means benefits or costs, generated as a by-product of economic activity, that do not accrue to the parties involved in the activity and are benefits or costs that manifest themselves through changes in the physical or biological environment. IOGA Opposed

SB 1527 (Fine-D) Amends the Eminent Domain Act. Provides that, with specified exceptions, if either party in the condemnation action demands a trial by jury, the condemning authority shall not be granted title or possession and the owner shall not be restrained from denying access to the property until the jury ascertains compensation. IOGA Opposed