Legislative Issues - U.S.
The Tax Foundation put together a set of charts illustrating the reality of the U.S. tax system. Here are three charts that should be understood when talking about the threat of automatic tax increases on businesses. To see the three charts, click here
Speaker John A. Boehner came before the mics on Thursday, and he made one thing clear: The sequester is here to stay until the White House gets serious about spending cuts.
For the last two years about this time, Jack Selzer, NAEDA’s Tax Attorney has provided the basic tax depreciation/expense rules that can help sales people in making new and used equipment sales before year end. Because of some changes, it is timely to revisit these rules.
There are two provisions we need to look at --
Section 179 expense deduction for new and used equipment. The Section 179 deduction for 2013 is $500,000. There is a “phase out” $ for $ after the purchase of $2,000,000 of new and/or used equipment. This if a customer has $2,500,000 of purchases in 2013 there will be no Section 179 deduction. This phase out shows that this deduction is designed for small and mid-sized businesses.
Bonus depreciation for new equipment. Like last year, the extra additional bonus depreciation is 50% of the purchase price of new equipment. Example – if a customer buys new equipment in 2013 for $600,000 the customer can take an extra $300,000 bonus depreciation deduction in 2013.
NAEDA joined 80 other companies and associations on a letter to the House and Senate leadership asking for immediate action on two bipartisan companion bills: H.R. 4196, a bill introduced by Congressmen Tiberi, Larson, Paulsen, Neal, Marchant, and Pascrell and S. 2240, introduced by Senators Stabenow, Blunt, Brown (OH) and Roberts.
House and Senate negotiators were putting the finishing touches Sunday on what would be the first successful budget accord since 2011, when the battle over a soaring national debt first paralyzed Washington. The deal expected to be sealed this week on Capitol Hill would not significantly reduce the debt, now $17.3 trillion and rising.
It would not close corporate tax loopholes or reform expensive health-care and retirement programs. It would not even fully replace sharp spending cuts known as the sequester, the negotiators’ primary target.
The Congressional Research Service has issued a new report "Budget Issues Shaping a Farm Bill in 2013" on October 21, 2013. The report states:
The budget situation for the farm bill is more difficult this year than for recent farm bills because of attention to the federal debt. The desire by many to redesign farm policy and reallocate the remaining farm bill baseline—in a sequestration and deficit reduction environment—is driving much of the farm bill debate. Uncertainty persists about broader deficit reduction plans, some of
which have targeted agricultural and nutrition programs with mandatory funding. Much of that uncertainty affects the farm bill but is beyond the control of the agriculture committees. Moreover, some popular 2008 farm bill programs do not have a baseline that would provide continued funding and thus will require budgetary offsets to continue.
At the request of the House and Senate Committees on the Budget, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) periodically issues a compendium of budget options to help inform federal lawmakers about the implications of possible policy choices. This volume presents more than 100 options for altering spending and revenues to reduce federal budget deficits.
The options discussed in this report come from a variety of sources, including legislative proposals, various Administrations’ budget proposals, Congressional staff, other government entities, and private groups. The options are intended to reflect a range of possibilities rather than to provide a ranking of priorities or a comprehensive list. The inclusion or exclusion of a particular policy change does not represent an endorsement or rejection by CBO. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, impartial analysis, this report makes no recommendations.
A Congressional Budget Office report released by Senate Energy Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) asserts that having less flexibility in the choice of fuels contributes to the volatility of prices for transportation fuels. "A substantial amount of oil is produced in countries that are vulnerable to disruptions resulting from geopolitical, military, or civil developments, and few countries other than Saudi Arabia have much spare production capacity in the near term to offset such disruptions," the CBO report states. "In contrast, the U.S. markets for natural gas, coal, nuclear power, and renewable energy either are less prone to long-term disruptions or have significant spare production and storage capacity."
Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Tim Johnson (S-SD) introduced legislation last week that would extend for one year the 2008 Farm Bill disaster programs that expired at the end of Fiscal Year 2011. Those programs include: the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP). House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) said this week that an extension of SURE should be included in a conference agreement on the Farm Bill.
The drought gripping the country raises the bar on Congress to get a farm bill done and possibly reinstall some disaster programs that have expired, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said Tuesday.
House leaders have said little about scheduling floor time for the farm bill since it was moved out of committee last week. (DTN photo illustration by Nick Scalise)The extensive drought conditions will require lawmakers in conference negotiations to revisit the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, or SURE, that expired last September.
A new lawsuit alleges that the Environmental Protection Agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it refused a 2008 petition that would have required states to develop water quality standards for the Mississippi River Basin and the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a new guidance document that impacts the ability of employers to continue to use criminal-background checks to make informed hiring decisions. The new guidance replaces one that had been in effect for twenty-five years and has served a wide variety of professions and occupations as a de facto national regulation.
The GPS industry is forming a new trade association called the GPS Innovation Alliance that will work to educate policy makers and the public about the GPS system and protect the interests of the hundreds of organizations and users that rely upon the constellation, according to sources familiar with the new group.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA or health care reform) says "applicable large employers" have to offer health insurance to their full-time employees or they may incur a penalty. But what is an "applicable large employer", how many hours do full-time employees work, and what happens if health insurance isn't offered?
In late December 2012, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury released proposed rules employers can use in 2013 to determine if they have to offer full-time employees coverage in 2014. At the same time, the IRS released a set of FAQs that summarize the rules and are a helpful guide.
NAEDA joined 141 other organizations in a July 24th letter supporting passage of a package of bills now named H.R. 4078, the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Jobs Creation Act.” This bill would streamline the federal permitting process, impose transparency on the abused sue and settle process used by agencies and environmental groups to circumvent the rulemaking process, and to prohibit agencies from proposing or finalizing major midnight regulations.
The common sense reforms in this packaged bill would make the nation’s regulatory process more transparent, efficient, and workable for businesses that create jobs and contribute to economic growth. Sound regulatory policy is not possible unless the process is open and public participation is
welcomed by agencies. At the center of these regulatory reforms is an effort to promote good government practices that encourage efficiency, sound analysis, and public involvement.
The House Agriculture Committee released draft language detailing $35 billion in savings over 10 years in its bill, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, or "FARRM," which the committee will markup July 11. The bill comes after the Senate passed its version of the bill June 21, which is dubbed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act.
Many of the provisions throughout the House bill are comparable to those in the Senate legislation, which partly stems from work the two agriculture committees did last fall in the failed supercommittee talks.
Reaction from farm groups following Thursday's passage of a farm-only farm bill was a mix of praise, disappointment and disbelief, but also relief because at least some version of the legislation actually passed the House.
After a year of first refusing to bring a bill to the floor, then watching failure last month, House Republican leaders scored a victory as the bill passed the House on a 216-208 vote. While infuriating Democrats, all of whom voted against it, the GOP leadership was able to show it could keep its own caucus in order and pass the legislation.
Most farm groups reacted in similar fashion. None of this was ideal, they said, but at least now the House has a bill to negotiate over with the U.S. Senate version of the bill.
Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) has introduced a bill (H.R. 4342) in the House aimed at modernizing the infrastructure on the inland waterways system. Known as “WAVE 4: Waterways are Vital for the Economy, Energy, Efficiency, and Environment Act of 2012. This legislation will transform the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan into law according to the Waterways Council Inc. (WCI).
Legislation was introduced last week by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) titled the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act. The bill limits the instances under which distributors and retailers could be subject to a product liability lawsuit. The legislation is similar to a bill NAEDA supported in 2007, but is slightly different than previous versions of the legislation. But, we believe it still does a good job of limiting the instances where sellers would be subject to product liability lawsuits.
Rep. Farenthold’s office has asked National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) to organize an industry letter in support of the bill of which NAEDA has agreed to sign-on to. Rep. Farenthold will also be circulating a Dear Colleague letter seeking cosponsors.
The bill was not introduced in the last Congress, but it was introduced in the 109th, 110th and 111th Congress.
On October 8, 2012, Mexico formally joined the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) as a full negotiating member once the other countries finished their internal procedures to accept new members. This important achievement in Mexico’s trade policy has been the result of an intense effort, which began in November 2011, when Mexico expressed interest in being part of this negotiation.
A coalition letter was sent to members of congress on Thursday, February 2 asking them to include bonus depreciation as they consider House Bill 3630. “NAEDA, in close cooperation with several other organizations, continues efforts to secure authorization of bonus depreciation for 2012. We believe this is in the best interest of equipment dealers across the U.S.,” said Paul Kindinger, President & CEO.
On January 27th, a bi-partisan group of 22 Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to President Obama urging that LIFO repeal not be included in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget. On April 2nd, Jeffrey Zeints, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responded to the Congressional letter on behalf of the Obama Administration supporting repeal of LIFO.
NAEDA and the LIFO Coalition, a coalition of more than 120 business organizations and trade associations, was provided a copy of both the letter to the President and the response on behalf of the President.
In a letter date July 12th, the letter expressed strong opposition to the latest House and Senate version of the so-called DISCLOSE 2012 Act, S. 3369 and H.R. 4010, which both the Senate and House may consider in the coming days.
This legislation, like its predecessors in the 111th and 112th Congresses, is designed to chill the political speech of corporations, business interests, and others, while giving labor unions special protections. The bills do not propose genuine reform—the disclosure requirements are transparently political and ultimately
On June 19th, NAEDA participated in the National Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) Initiative Steering Committee meeting when it held its first meeting in Washington, DC. Attendees of the meeting included members from the Northeast Center for Agricultural and Occupational Health (NEC) within the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), the University of Tennessee, the University of Kentucky, the American Farm Bureau Federation, ROPS manufacturing companies, social marketing groups, and insurance companies. Equipment manufacturers were representd by AEM while NAEDA represented equipment dealers.
The consortium discussed and debated strategies proposed to scale up ongoing efforts towards increasing ROPS adoption among tractor owners in the United States. Overall, the consensus of the Steering Committee was unified, in its dedication to work towards reducing the heavy toll tractor rollovers have afflicted on the American population. It was brought out at the meeting that 20% of today's farm accidents are caused by rollovers and that comes with an average cost of $960,000 for each accident.
NAEDA has filed comments with the IRS concerning their notice on dual use property. NADEA followed others in the industry who also filed with the IRS including AED and Caterpillar.
What the IRS will do next is anybody’s guess. The IRS could initiate an Industry Issue Resolution process to negotiate a safe harbor with the industry, develop guidance through some other route, or drop the issue all together. However, given the fact that the IRS itself proposed to undertake this exercise, we think the latter option is the least likely.
Copies of NAEDA's and AED's filings can be found here.
A bill introduced by U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) to prohibit the collection of political contribution information from bidders for government contracts was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. This bill, "Keeping Politics out of Federal Contracting," was co-sponsored by 22 Senators.
NAEDA joined with 106 organizations sending a letter to President Obama supporting the Keystone XL pipeline construction.
Congress is currently considering legislation to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Russia. Approval of PNTR with Russia will greatly boost U.S. exports, create tens of thousands of American jobs, and is one of the U.S. Chamber's top trade priority before Congress this year. As part of the Chamber's efforts, NAEDA has signed on to a Chamber coalition letter stressing how important Russia's graduation from Jackson-Vanik is to the American business community. As the 11th largest economy in the world, Russia presents a huge opportunity to increase U.S. agricultural and other exports and create American jobs.
Additional signatories are still being collected for the letter. The final letter will be available on NAEDA's Web site when it is sent to Congress later in June.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today applauded the Committee’s unanimous approval of his bill establishing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia and removing Russia from the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment. Chairman Baucus’s bill will enable U.S. businesses to create jobs here at home by capitalizing on Russia’s growing market. The legislation supports and creates thousands of U.S. jobs across every sector of the American economy, including manufacturing, agriculture and services, by helping double U.S. exports to Russia within five years.
The Senate has approved legislation that would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank after rejecting five Republicans amendments, including a proposal to shut down the bank.
The bill was approved 78-20 — with all 20 “no” votes cast by Republicans — and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House passed the measure last week 330-93.