Geithner favors tax credits for small business

WASHINGTON Thu Dec 3, 2009 7:22pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday that targeted tax credits for small businesses might be helpful as a job-creation measure, provided there is confidence the economy will grow.

"There is a pretty good case for looking at targeted tax incentives to encourage both investment and new hiring and we're going to take a careful look at all those proposals," he said on the Fox Business Network.

He said the Obama administration was "looking at extending a bunch of other special tax incentives," in addition to provisions for an expansion of loss carrybacks that was announced previously by the White House.

In response to questions, Geithner said he did not favor a tax on stock trades to recover costs from the financial sector for damages the economy has suffered during the current crisis.

But he added that financial-reform legislation now making its way through Congress should ensure that taxpayers will never have to bear the costs of future crises.

"If the government has to take any risk of loss in future crises, we want to make sure those losses are recouped to the taxpayer in the form of a fee assessed on the financial community over time," Geithner said. "That's fair, that's just and I'm confident you'll see it enacted into law."

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville, Editing by Leslie Adler)

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