During its Fall Committee Meetings and Legislative Conference Sept. 30–Oct. 3 in Washington, D.C., NRCA scheduled appointments for its members to meet with their respective senators and representatives. During the appointments, members expressed their support of several types of legislation, including passage of a bill that would shorten the period of time in which commercial roof systems depreciate according to the current tax code.
As a result of NRCA's efforts, soon after the meetings, bills were introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate that would lower the depreciation schedule from 39 years to 20 years. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) introduced legislation, the Realistic Roofing Tax Treatment Act of 2003, in the Senate, and Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) introduced a companion bill in the House. Although the bills have bipartisan support and are a victory for the roofing industry, they may have more success in passing when coupled with other bills as a result of any economic effects the reduction would cause.
NRCA President John Gooding, chairman of the board of Gooding, Simpson & Mackes, Ephrata, Pa., voices his support of the bills, "A new depreciation schedule would satisfy two important policy goals—enhanced energy efficiency and a growth impetus for the construction industry."
Adding credence to NRCA's position that the depreciation schedule should be reduced is a study conducted by market research firm Ducker Worldwide, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., that determined the average low-slope roof system lasts about 17 years. For more information about the study, read "Evidence of depreciation."
In addition to the legislative appointments, NRCA members attended a briefing in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Office Building, which is adjacent to the White House. Members of the Bush administration informed attendees about the administration's plan for addressing the situation in Iraq, as well as economic issues, such as health insurance and taxes.
A group of NRCA members also attended a live taping of CNN's "Crossfire," a daily show during which Democrats and Republicans face off about current issues. The taping the NRCA group attended focused on the ongoing leak investigation concerning a former CIA operative.
Next month, Professional Roofing will provide a full report about the meetings and lobbying efforts made by members. In the meantime, if you have any questions about NRCA's government relations activities, contact NRCA's Washington office at (202) 546-7584.
Ambika Puniani is editor of Professional Roofing magazine and NRCA's director of communications.