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The R&D Tax Credit: An Open Letter to US Senators

By James T. Brett, President & CEO, The New England Council

On behalf of the New England Council, I am writing to urge your support for making permanent the Research and Development Tax Credit, which is set to expire at the end of 2005.

Research and development plays a significant role in strengthening the nation’s innovation sector, a major force behind sustained economic growth. It is particularly important to New England, an epicenter for cutting-edge innovation and progress. Investments in research and development fuel the region’s innovation and technology sectors, which feature world-renowned universities, hospitals, laboratories, and technology companies.

These industries rely on stable and strong policies to make important decisions on long-term R&D planning. Since typical R&D projects require several years to complete, a permanent R&D tax credit would grant the certainty businesses need to pursue promising new ideas and projects. Additionally, it would encourage increased R&D spending by the private sector, providing valuable benefits to society, such as higher paying jobs for skilled workers and an improved standard of living.

A permanent extension of the R&D tax credit is important to the economic future of our nation. A proven and critical business incentive, it would promote investment in research and facilitate the development of new products and technologies that will enhance existing capital investments and increase work productivity. The result will be a stronger economy at home, and a more competitive nation abroad.

If not extended permanently, countries offering more attractive forms of an R&D tax credit will succeed in enticing American businesses to perform research activities outside the United States. This would be detrimental to our nation’s economic growth and technological advancement since we would lose jobs, businesses, and investment to foreign competitors.

Long-term economic growth is directly tied to innovation in the marketplace. As the R&D tax credit nears expiration, we urge you to consider the importance of a permanent extension to our nation’s economic future.

As always if you have any questions or concerns about this or any other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Very truly yours,

James T. Brett
President & CEO
The New England Council
(617) 723-4009


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