Immediate and sustainable economic benefits will come from extending the federal depreciation bonus and passing a robust, multi-year highway and transit authorization bill, an American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) member told Congress at a hearing to review the impacts of the tax provision on small businesses. Jack Sanford, president of Charlottesville, Va.-based Faulconer Construction Company testified July 14 before the House of Representatives Small Business Committee.
Sanford said that the transportation construction industry has benefitted from a one-year extension of the tax benefit enacted in 2008 as part of a larger economic recovery bill. He cited several examples of firms throughout the country making multi-million dollar equipment purchase decisions, even during a recession, because of the provision.
Sanford said he strongly supported the effort to extend this benefit for 2010 and suggested the provision could further stimulate the economy if expanded to cover firms who new equipment they are currently leasing.
Bonus depreciation benefits notwithstanding, Sanford said the “most meaningful action Congress could take for our sector and its thousands of small businesses is enactment of a multi-year reauthorization of the federal highway and public transportation programs.” He said that Congress needs to understand the significant interrelationship between the depreciation tax benefit and the lack of action on the multi-year surface transportation bill that expired in September 2009.
“As a business owner, the lack of certainty about the federal transportation programs directly influences my decision to make capital purchases. This creates a situation where two factors are working at cross purposes: the depreciation bonus is an excellent incentive to purchase new equipment, but the lack of a reauthorization bill is an equally powerful disincentive.”