SMACNA Presses for Passage of More Tax Priorities
Earlier this month SMACNA joined with members of the 179D Reform Coalition and the Alliance to Save Energy to urge bipartisan congressional leaders to pass additional tax reforms in the “lame-duck,” post-election session of Congress.
The specific tax extender provisions SMACNA is most concerned with passing this year are those to boost energy efficiency retrofit activity across commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. Under the legislative proposal now under consideration, section 179D would be retroactively extended through 2019. The 179D reform amendment is a key part of the tax extender package of amendments moving in the House of Representatives. Without the extender package passing and being signed into law it will expire for 2018.
Section 179D provides a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot to help offset some of the high costs of energy efficient components and systems for commercial and larger multifamily buildings. The 179D deduction has leveraged billions of dollars in private capital, resulted in the energy-efficient construction of thousands of buildings, and created and preserved hundreds of thousands of jobs. It has lowered demands on the power grid and reduced carbon emissions. A recent analysis by Regional Economic Models, Inc. estimates that renewing the tax deduction would create 40,000 to 77,000 new design and construction jobs annually along with nearly $7.4 billion in annual GDP.
The group of diverse business, energy, transportation, real estate and agriculture sectors, emphasized in a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Outgoing Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and retiring Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the pressing need to address the expired tax provisions that expired Jan. 1, 2018 and must be extended as soon as possible to be in effect for the current tax year.
The letter explained that this situation “has created confusion for the numerous industry sectors that utilize these tax incentives and support thousands of jobs in the U.S. economy.” It also noted that the continued uncertainty regarding eventual congressional action on tax extenders is undermining the effectiveness of these incentives and is a needless barrier to additional job creation and economic growth in the private sector. Read more...