WOW! Congress adjourned in December with a two-year budget deal. Who would have thought that was possible, given the fact that they are even more unpopular than the president who is going to sign this deal. Just remember Congress will be back in Washington in January to discuss a host of unfinished business after their return and the elections next fall.
One item that caught our attention, prior to the adjournment, was the Senate Finance Committee’s proposals to overhaul America’s tax code. Those proposals, many of which are not friendly to dealers, caused NAEDA to respond before adjournment and submit “requested actions” to the committee for their consideration. The requested actions are summarized below. A complete copy of NAEDA’s comments to the Senate Finance Committee is available by contacting me for a copy at email@example.com.
Tax Code Reform
▶ Make permanent the bonus depreciation and Section 179 provisions enacted under The Small Business and Work Opportunity Tax Act of 2007, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
▶ Change the farm and ranch equipment assigned class life to five years for depreciation purposes. This will match the same assigned class life of construction equipment.
▶ Modify the current depreciation schedules for buildings and their contents to accurately reflect actual lifetime usage rates and specialty uses to match the industry’s needs.
▶ Do not repeal Last-in, First-out (LIFO) accounting method.
▶ Delete IRC Section 263A of the IRS Code.
NAEDA has been consistent in asking for these tax measure changes, or no changes in some cases, over the last few years. We fully believe that Congress may try and tackle tax reform once they return from the holiday recess, but not certain as to that outcome or the timing of such actions.
That will make the 2014 fly-in scheduled for April 2-3 so important. It will be that one-on-one dealer contact with your representatives and senators that will play an important role in any tax reform programs, particularly the ones mentioned above. So, please get the dates on your calendar and plan to attend this, our 11th Annual Fly-in, in Washington, D.C.
Two other items remain on our congressional agenda for the new session that we hope Congress will tackle after their holiday recess. One is the farm bill and the other one is the Water Resource Development Act of 2013.
On the farm bill, bills have been passed in both the House and Senate that are now in conference committee for reconciliation. They appeared to be close to an agreement prior to adjournment, so we hope the final differences will be ironed out and a farm bill agreed to shortly after Congress returns in January.
In a joint congressional letter sent by AEM, AED and NAEDA this fall, we have said:
MIKE WILLIAMS is vice president for government relations with the North American Equipment Dealers Association (NAEDA).