What Has AED Done For Me Lately?By Christian Klein
Article Date: 09-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
We’re championing numerous pro-business, pro-equipment market issues in Washington, where laws governing your company live or die.
Recognizing the enormous threats and opportunities our industry is facing in the new political environment, AED’s Board voted last year to double the association’s government affairs budget. With the unprecedented downturn in the construction industry, AED’s work to expand equipment markets and reduce our members’ costs of doing business matters more than ever. Here are a few examples of what your Washington team has been up to:
And that’s just a partial. Rest assured that we’ll keep hammering away on your behalf at this end.
- If you sell equipment to highway contractors: AED estimates that 6.4 cents of each dollar spent by government on roads are used to buy equipment and related services. We’re at the forefront of the highway reauthorization debate helping to lead coalitions that are working to double the size of the federal highway program (from $40 billion to $80 billion per year) and find sustainable revenue streams for the Highway Trust Fund. Most recently, AED testified at a congressional hearing about the impact that the uncertainty surrounding the highway reauthorization is having on equipment markets.
- If you sell equipment to utility contractors: AED estimates that 12 cents of each dollar spent on water infrastructure are used to buy equipment and related services. We’re lobbying in favor of legislation pending in the Senate that would reauthorize and dramatically increase funding for sewer and drinking water construction programs. The $36.7 billion in total proposed investment would create an estimated $4.4 billion in equipment market opportunity over the next five years.
- If you’re concerned about unions: AED has been playing a leading role in the coalition that’s working to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The bill would eliminate secret ballots in union elections and, in some cases, impose binding arbitration on the collective bargaining process. AED members have sent an unprecedented number of e-mails about EFCA to Capitol Hill through our AEDaction.org Web site and it’s made a difference. Word from the Hill is that the “card check” secret ballot provision has been dropped from the bill. But a “compromise” is in the works, so we’ve got to stay engaged.
- If you use LIFO: AED is a founding member of the LIFO coalition, which is working to prevent LIFO from being repealed. More than one-third of our members use LIFO – equipment distributors have $2.8 billion in LIFO reserves, and LIFO repeal would cost AED members $900 million in retroactive tax liability. AED’s lobbying has helped ensure that LIFO repeal hasn’t been proposed in Congress despite the urging of the Obama administration.
- If you’re concerned about the construction industry credit crisis: AED recently testified at a House Small Business Committee hearing to draw attention to the credit challenges our members and their customers are facing. Now we’re working with our industry allies to get the Small Business Administration to expand its dealer floor plan financing program to nontitled property so equipment distributors can benefit.
- If you’re concerned about high health insurance costs but shiver at the prospect of the federal government running the health care system: AED is a member of the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare. We’re advocating tax credits for companies that provide health insurance for employees and better opportunities for businesses to pool together to lower risk and premiums. At the same time, we’re fighting employer mandates and a “public option” that would force the private sector to compete with government.
- If you think the depreciation bonus and increased Sec. 179 expensing levels encourage equipment purchasing: AED led the coalition that extended these capital investment incentives through 2009. We are also working to aggressively promote the capital investment incentives to your customers through, among other things, brochures and our depreciationbonus.org Web site.
- If you’re concerned about the anti-free trade, protectionist legislation: AED worked hard to ensure that the “Buy American” provisions of the recent stimulus bill do not apply to construction equipment used on stimulus project jobsites.
- If you’ve been affected by the housing downturn: AED was the first trade association to propose a home purchase tax credit last year and initiated the lobbying that led to the $8,000 tax credit in the stimulus bill. Now we’re looking for other ideas to help resuscitate the construction industry.
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