The Roofing Efficiency Jobs Act of 2011 (H.R. 2962), introduced
by Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), and the
Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act (S. 1575), introduced by Sens.
Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), are bipartisan bills
with a laudable goal. Both bills would correct a longstanding flaw
in the Internal Revenue Code by reducing the depreciation recovery
period for commercial roof system retrofits from 39 to 20 years if
newly installed roof systems meet certain benchmark
Generally, real property was depreciated over 15 years for
business tax purposes as recently as the early 1980s. That
depreciation schedule increased incrementally until 1993 when
nonresidential real property—a commercial building and its
structural components—was assigned its current 39-year
recovery period as a way for Congress to raise revenue to pay
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