Capitol Hill

Tax issues

On Feb. 13, Craig Silvertooth, the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing's executive director, and I attended the White House signing ceremony for H.R. 5140, the Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008. The signing was in the East Room where the president was surrounded by congressional leaders of both political parties.

Of particular importance to NRCA members are the bill's generous increase in the expensing allowance for small businesses to $250,000 for this year and 50 percent bonus depreciation for items subject to a 20-year or less depreciation schedule. Perhaps equally important is this is likely the last time both parties will agree on major tax legislation until after the Nov. 4 election.

This scenario is playing out as Democrats attempt to pass a federal budget for fiscal year 2009, which begins Oct. 1, and struggle for a cohesive approach to "reconciliation" and "pay-as-you-go" (or "PAYGO") rules.

PAYGO rules