WASHINGTON — The top taxwriters in the Senate promised yesterday that legislation that would extend a number of tax provisions slated to expire at the end of the year, including the New York City Liberty Bond program, will be one of the first things they address in 2010.

Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee, respectively, said yesterday that the so-called extenders package will be a top priority for them when they return to work in January.

"Expiration of these provisions makes it difficult for taxpayers to fully and effectively realize the intended benefits by creating uncertainty and complexity in the tax law," they said in a joint statement. "In an effort to provide a seamless extension of these provisions with the fewest disruptions and administrative problems, we will take up legislation as quickly as possible in the new year."

The House passed its version of an extenders package earlier this month, but the Senate was monopolized by health care reform legislation.

The House bill, which would extend the New York City Liberty Bond program for another year, also includes a one-year extension of relaxed mortgage revenue bond limitations for federal disaster areas.

In addition, the bill would extend through 2010 both the ability of taxpayers to take an itemized deduction for state and local general sales taxes in lieu of the itemized deduction typically permitted, as well as tax incentives for so-called empowerment zones, which are economically distressed areas where businesses are eligible for tax incentives, including tax-exempt bonds.

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