Although the chances of Congress passing a major tax-cut bill in the lame-duck session have all but disappeared, some important tax provisions now on the Hill may be passed this session.
One of them would close the present loophole whereby tax-exempt bonds are used to finance housing of all kinds, including middle- and upper-income housing.
Another effectively would relieve the owners of oil land from "windfall profits" taxes by giving them credits against their income taxes for the windfall profits tax paid on some of their royalites.
The first measure is in the reconciliation bill passed by the House, and the second is in the Senate's reconciliation bill. The second budget resolution, which is on the agenda for Congress in the present session, assumes passage of the reconciliation bill. It has many spending and tax measures which overall would decrease spending and increase revenues.
The Carter administration proposed ending the mortgage bond tax exemption. This exemption has been exploited increasingly in recent years. It allows state and local governments to raise money by issuing bonds, with the interest to the bondholder exempt from federal taxes, and the localities then can lend the money for mortgages at what amounts to federally subsidized interest rates.
At first the mortgage bonds were used chiefly for low-income rental housing, but now there is a growing drain on the budget as they are being used to finance middle- and upper-income housing.
The oil royalties tax credit would cut revenues. It has the strong support of Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.), who is expected to become chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Last week he said he hoped this would be approved by the conference on the reconciliation bill. Modification of the windfall profits tax was part of the Republican platform.
Both reconciliation bills also include a tax on capital gains made by foreigners who invest in real estate here. Foreigners now are essentially exempt from capital gains tax.
Another tax bill under consideration would set up a "superfund" for cleaning oil spills as soon as they happen. The government would levy taxes for the fund and then would meet the cost of the cleanup before responsibility for the accident is settled by the courts.
Other measures include an airport and airways bill, which would raise $1 billion. It would put the airport tax back up to 8 percent from 5 percent, where it has been since Oct. 1.
The reconciliation bill includes cash management provisions which would increase revenues in fiscal 1981 by bringing the collection forward from fiscal 1982.