Industry Associations Laud Tax Legislation

Congress has approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a massive plan to overhaul the tax code. The measure passed the House 224 to 201 as overwhelming Republican support carried the bill past unanimous Democratic opposition and ‘no’ votes from 12 GOP members. The House vote comes after the Senate approved an identical measure, with all Democrats opposed and all Republicans present in support.

The plan would permanently drop the corporate tax from 35 percent to 21 percent, while also rewriting the individual tax rules to lower rates and restructure deductions. 

“We welcome the passage of this bill, the first meaningful tax reform effort in many years,” said Michael Johnson, president and CEO of the the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA). “In addition to supporting a corporate tax rate of 21 percent, NSSGA actively worked to protect the tax-exempt status of private activity bonds for state and local infrastructure projects. We also were glad to see that the final bill keeps whole percentage depletion, the LIFO accounting method and Like-Kind Exchanges for real estate. Hopefully, this bill lays the necessary groundwork for Congress to give its full attention to infrastructure investment in the first part of 2018.”

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater issued the following statement after the Senate approved the conference report:

“The equipment manufacturing industry applauds the Senate for delivering on its promise to overhaul our outdated, uncompetitive tax code. The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will make equipment manufacturers more competitive, while creating more opportunity for millions of Americans. Equipment manufacturers are heartened that this legislation now heads to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

“Tax reform is a huge win for equipment manufacturers of virtually every type and their employees. When equipment manufacturers succeed, they can play a bigger role in growing the economy and helping Americans thrive. The bill passed today will encourage equipment manufacturers large and small to hire new workers, expand facilities, and purchase new equipment; the legislation will also put U.S. equipment manufacturers on a level playing field with the rest of the world.

“There are many leaders in the Senate who deserve credit for working diligently to bring this historic legislation across the finish line. Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Chairman Hatch led the effort to make the long-held goal of comprehensive tax reform that will power a growing economy for years to come. Still many more Senators deserve the gratitude of the 1.3 million men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry for helping make pro-growth, pro-jobs tax reform a reality.

“Our industry will continue to seek improvements and reform’s to our nation’s tax code in order to make the United States the most competitive place for equipment manufacturers. Nonetheless, the bill passed today is a once-in-a-generation accomplishment that the Senate should be proud of. Equipment manufacturers look forward to President Trump’s signature on this legislation before the end of the year.”

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Stephen E. Sandherr, released the following statement regarding final passage of federal tax reform: 

“Today, Congress passed comprehensive tax reform legislation that will lower rates, spur economic growth and impact construction businesses for years to come. However, this process did not start as well as it ended for the construction industry. 

“Initially, the tax reform bill provided little relief for many construction firms organized as pass-throughs, such as S-corps, limited liability corporations and partnerships; eliminated Private Activity Bonds, essential to the financing of transportation infrastructure, low-income housing and other public construction and public-private partnership projects; and repealed the Historic Tax Credit, critical to the private construction market for the rehabilitation and renovation of historic buildings. 

“AGC continued to fight for a better outcome for the construction industry by undertaking a rigorous direct lobbying campaign. Our efforts included connecting construction company CFOs and CPAs with tax writers, and generating thousands of pro-construction messages from members to key legislators. Our efforts helped convince members of Congress to ultimately reduce the corporate rate by 14 points; lower individual and pass through rates; double the estate and gift tax exclusion to $11 million; ensure the tax-exempt status of Private Activity Bonds remained untouched; and prevent full repeal of the Historic Tax Credit.

“That stated, there is still much work to be done in our nation’s capital in the New Year. Though Congress missed an opportunity to address the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund via tax reform, we remain focused on ensuring that this administration keeps its promise to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. And, we are committed to efforts to modernize multiemployer pension plans for the future, among other priorities for the industry.”

Associated Equipment Distributors’ (AED) President and CEO Brian P. McGuire issued the following statement after congressional approval of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“Every major piece of legislation will have some positives and some negatives. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act is no different. While AED didn’t get everything we wanted, I have no doubt that had we not been at the table throughout the process the industry would be in a far worse position.

“The tax reform process isn’t over. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will need to be refined, and many important provisions are temporary. The administration will be issuing guidance on many aspects of the new law in the coming year. AED will remain engaged, but it’s important that construction equipment dealers also continue to be involved. As this process has shown, there’s too much at stake not to advocate for your company and your industry.”  


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