This piece was originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of electroindustry.
Philip Squair, Vice President of Government Relations, NEMA
As this article is being written, the nation’s capital and much of the country are watching congressional hearings on the possible impeachment of the President. Amid this, NEMA continues to promote significant initiatives to implement policies that help NEMA Members be successful and profitable.
In recent months, NEMA has engaged in two significant grassroots campaigns. The first campaign urged passage of the U.S.–Mexico–Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, and the second campaign supported passage of legislation to accelerate the expensing of qualified improvement property (QIP).
The U.S. electroindustry depends on trade within North America. As such, both NEMA and the Administration view approval of USMCA as a top priority. Members of Congress, state Governors, and local officials should understand this and move toward bringing legislation across the finish line. The electroindustry has emphasized these points in more than 30 letters to Congress.
NEMA also pushed Congress to pass a key tax provision that benefits the electroindustry and its customers. QIP projects are those related to any improvement to the interior portion of an existing nonresidential building such as remodeling, installing energy-efficient upgrades, replacing floors or lighting fixtures, installing electric vehicle charging stations in the garage, or making safety and access upgrades.
Due to a drafting error in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the period over which businesses can expense these facility improvements has nearly tripled—from 15 to 39 years. The error— acknowledged as such by both Republicans and Democrats—also excludes these improvements from bonus depreciation, which allows businesses full deductibility of allowable investments over a period as short as one year.
NEMA is part of a broad coalition looking to pass the QIP fix, and our strategy was to include legislation in a year-end, must-pass spending bill. So far, the QIP campaign has resulted in 393 letters being sent to 85 different Representatives and Senators, a tremendous turnout that adds momentum to our efforts on Capitol Hill. ei