Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.org December 14, 2017
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On the Inside
TAX REFORM
Republicans Reach Agreement on a Final Tax Reform Bill
LABOR
AGC Joins Effort Calling for “Cadillac” Tax Relief
AGC Calls on Congress to Provide Health Insurance Tax Relief for 2018
TRANSPORTATION
FHWA Administrator Nominee Withdraws
SAFETY
Last Call: Construction Safety Excellence Awards Applications
Register Today: 2018 AGC Winter Safety & Health Conference
TAX REFORM
Republicans Reach Agreement on a Final Tax Reform Bill
 

On Dec. 13, the House and Senate Republican conferees for H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, reached an agreement to resolve the differences between the two versions of the tax reform legislation. Last week, AGC sent a letter to the House and Senate negotiators outlining the construction industry’s priorities for the conference committee. AGC also worked with Senator Inhofe (R-Okla.) to ensure that trusts could access the pass-through business deduction, which was initially excluded in the Senate legislation. Based on comments made by multiple Senators, this effort is believed to be successful.

While no information about the agreement has been officially released—as of publication—press reports indicate that the broad outline of the agreement is as follows:

  • Cut the corporate rate to 21 percent from 35 percent beginning in 2018;
  • Cut the top individual rate to 37 percent for the highest earners, down from 39.6 percent;
  • Provide a 20 percent deduction on pass-through business income, and extend that break to trusts as well as individuals;
  • Repeal the Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax;
  • Cap the mortgage interest deduction to loans less than $750,000; and
  • Limit combined deductions for state and local income taxes and property taxes to $10,000.

There are still many unanswered questions about the agreement, including what happens to the Individual Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), Private Activity Bonds (PABs), and the “small contractor exemption” from percentage of completion method of accounting, which could have a significant impact on construction businesses.  Press reports also indicate that the final conference report will be filed on Friday, setting up a vote on final passage next week.

As the final details of the conference report are worked out over the next two days, AGC will continue to engage with policy makers to ensure that construction industry priorities are considered in the final bill.

For more information, contact Matthew Turkstra at matt.turkstra@agc.org or (202) 547-4733. Return to Top

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LABOR
AGC Joins Effort Calling for “Cadillac” Tax Relief
 

This week, AGC joined industry allies in urging Congress to repeal the Cadillac tax in any end-of-year package.The “Cadillac Tax” originated in the Affordable Care Act and is a 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health coverage whose benefits exceed specific thresholds. In 2015, the tax was delayed for two years, from 2018 to 2020. Employers are already beginning to feel the impact of the 2020 tax as they look at future health care benefits and restructuring those benefits to avoid the tax.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133. Return to Top

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AGC Calls on Congress to Provide Health Insurance Tax Relief for 2018
 

This week, AGC and a coalition of organizations representing small businesses called on Congress to pass HIT relief for 2018 before January. The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) is one of the largest taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act on the fully-insured health care market – the market that serves most small business. The tax was suspended for 2017; however, absent congressional action, the HIT is projected to return in 2018 at a rate of over $14 billion, which will ultimately be paid for by small businesses in the form of increased health care premiums.

For more information, contact Jim Young at youngj@agc.org or (202) 547-0133. Return to Top

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TRANSPORTATION
FHWA Administrator Nominee Withdraws
 

This week, President Trump’s nominee for Federal Highway Administrator, Paul Trombino, asked that his name be withdrawn from consideration. Mr. Trombino, the former director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, instead decided to remain in Iowa to take care of his ailing father, whose condition has recently deteriorated. AGC supported the nomination and called for his swift approval.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved Mr. Trombino’s nomination in October and has been awaiting for consideration by full Senate. No other individual has yet surfaced as a potential replacement. In the meantime, FHWA Deputy Administrator Brandye Hendrickson has been carrying out the Administrator’s responsibilities.

For more information, contact Brian Deery at deeryb@agc.org or (703) 837-5319. Return to Top

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SAFETY
Last Call: Construction Safety Excellence Awards Applications
Applications due Dec. 15
 

The Willis Towers Watson-AGC Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA) is the industry’s elite safety excellence awards program for contractors of all types and sizes. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, December 15, 2017. So, make sure your construction company doesn’t miss the opportunity to get recognized for its best-in-class safety program!

For more information on the Willis-AGC CSEA program, please visit www.agc.org/csea Return to Top

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Register Today: 2018 AGC Winter Safety & Health Conference
Jan. 10-12 in Long Beach, Calif.
 

The 2018 Winter Safety & Health Conference will take place Jan. 10-12, 2018 at the Hilton in Long Beach, California. Join more than 250 industry professionals and participate in the development of regulatory and legislative activity on both a national and local level; assist in the development and creation of new safety training programs and products; and hear the latest initiatives from OSHA and other industry experts. Full details on the Conference and links to registration and the hotel room block can be found here.  

For more information, contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or cannonk@agc.org or Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org. Return to Top

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