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After a long and often times disappointing journey, ACCA is pleased to share the  budget deal  headed to President Trump’s desk for his signature includes the restored tax credit for Geothermal.  Once again, ACCA has transformed a priority of our members into another achievement.   Much like with the immediate expensing of equipment we obtained in the tax reform package, we are proving that through hard work and shoe leather on Capitol Hill ACCA will produce victories for America’s HVACR Contractors that will positively impact their bottom-line and their customers.   The   budget deal   returns the  Geothermal ...
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It looks like hard work and shoe leather on Capitol Hill might soon result in another victory for America’s HVACR Contractors. Congressional leaders have released a  budget deal  which includes the return of the Geothermal tax credit. Specifically, the Bipartisan Budget Act would: Retroactively extended until December 31, 2021  Section 25  or the  30%  tax credit for the Residential Geothermal Tax Credit Retroactively extend for “property the construction of which begins before January 1, 2022” for  Section 48  or the 10% tax credit for Commercial Geothermal applications. These tax credits expired at the end of 2016, and ACCA and ...
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No. 53

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As of February 6, we have 53 open seats in the House, and that number continues to grow.  Last week veteran New Jersey Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Morristown), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced that he will not seek a 13th term later this year. Despite averaging 65.3% of the vote during his twelve successful elections and even winning with a healthy 58-39% victory margin in 2016, Rep. Frelinghuysen was considered vulnerable for 2018.  Democrats have recruited at least two candidates who are pulling in strong financial resources in order to stock a large campaign war chest for a presumed political battle in what is always a very ...
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On February 5, I had the opportunity to meet Forbes magazine Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes.  Oddly enough I was attending a symposium discussing the future of the Kigali Amendment, and its impact on the U.S. regulatory process- which translates to a discussion about refrigerants changes coming your way.    Former Senator David Vitter, which now lobby’s for Mercury Public Affairs, representing AHRI was kind enough to introduce me. I knew Mr. Forbes had bit of a reputation as “policy wonk” and cunning investor, but I must admit I was surprised he was serving a keynote for a discussion about refrigerants.  Based on his keynote his reputation about being a policy ...
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As  Congress continued last week to negotiate a spending plan, as well as immigration reform legislation, I had a break from the Capitol Hill action to focus on the Administration and Workforce.   Last Tuesday, February 6, I had the privilege to join Sectary of Labor Alexander Acosta ( did you know Secretary Acosta is joining ACCA for our annual meeting, and is serving as our keynote Speaker on Monday ) for a virtual meeting of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.  Secretary Acosta was joined by his Vice-Chair, Secretary Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department of Education and the 20 members of the Apprenticeship Task Force. Unfortunately, ...
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Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the True Incorporation Transparency for Law Enforcement (TITLE) Act.   While the goal of the bill is to prevent terrorists and criminals from accessing capital, the bill, if passed, would also impose serious and extremely burdensome reporting requirements on ACCA members. ACCA joined forces with a handful of others to share with Senators Grassley & Feinstein our concerns about the legislation's  unintended cost on business owners. Under the TITLE Act every layer of corporation  and LLC would have to identify all qualifying “beneficial owners”, and report the personal information of those individuals. ...
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Last week, I attended a timely briefing on Capitol Hill about the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States. The briefing was hosted by ACCA’s partners at the Men’s Health Network, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), who is a former HVAC contractor. It is great that former HVAC contractor Congressman Mullin is taking a leadership role on this. He understands exactly what contractors across the country are experiencing. ACCA attended this important briefing because we’ve learned from several HVAC contractors that the drug crisis has contributed to the workforce problems that contractors are already dealing with. This ...
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In a recent visit to ACCA’s Allied Contracting Organization in South Carolina, the South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors (SCAHACC), I had a terrific opportunity to see what many ACCA members are doing to support their state and local contracting organizations. To refresh your memory, ACCA no long has chapters. ACCA is a national organization with our own dues, benefits, and policies. We have partnerships with many state and regional associations, but those partnerships focus on joint advocacy, communications, and marketing campaigns. SCAHACC held its annual conference in Charleston and they featured many great contractor ...
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Selling more commercial HVAC products just got easier, thanks to the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Included in this 2017 law is a provision allowing certain HVAC products to be immediately expensed. Under Section 179 Small Business Expensing, all components of a “heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning” system can be expensed in the first year instead of being depreciated over 39 years. For those of you who appreciate the exact language: Title 26 U.S. Code Section 179 states that “A taxpayer may elect to treat the cost of any section 179 property as an expense which is not chargeable to capital account. Any cost so treated shall be allowed as a deduction ...
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The Department of Labor (DOL) Task Force established by President Trump’s Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America will be holding their second of four meetings scheduled for 2018, on February 6 th .  The mission of the task force is to identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient. The task force has recognized that registered/approved apprenticeship programs are not keeping up with labor demands. ( Did you see we have locked in DOL Secretary, Alex Acosta to speak at our annual conference next week?)   Take Away of the Task Force So Far: ...
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There were widespread fears among Obamacare supporters that the Trump administration’s proposal to loosen the rules around association health plans (AHPs) would further destabilize the individual and small group markets. But those fears seem to have been partly eased by the inclusion of language prohibiting plans from discriminating against individuals based on their medical status, mirroring protections in the latest plan The proposal from the Labor Department (Did you see we have locked in DOL Secretary, Alex Acosta to speak at our annual conference next week?) acknowledges that the authors wrestled with striking the right balance between protecting ...
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ACCA’s partners at Orion Talent, are hosting a National Virtual Technician Hiring Event from Feb. 20-22. ACCA partners with Orion because they are the nation’s premier firm for helping business owners find veterans, and they specialize in helping the HVAC industry! And, ACCA Members get a discounted recruiting fee and an extended hiring guarantee of 120 days! If you want to experience the virtual hiring conference and interview veterans for your HVAC business, contact your ACCA Member Account Executive, Ashley Rohls. Ashley is a former Army officer and VMI (Virginia Military Institute) graduate. She graduated from VMI in 2009 and accepted her commission ...
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I recently attended the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) Stakeholder Workshop in Washington, D.C., along with OEM’s, other industry associations, EPA, contractors and end users. For self-contained refrigeration equipment (as used in convenience stores and supermarkets), their goal was to set in motion the wheels, to raise the current ASHRAE designated A3 refrigerants charge limit from 150 grams (~5.3 ounces) to some higher level; say, 500 g (~1.1 lbs.). ASHRAE designated A3 refrigerants (propane is a prime example) have been around for decades.  However, they have always had a stumbling block in that they are flammable.   The NASRC ...
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The morning of December 22 looked like just another brisk winter morning in our Nation’s Capital from ACCA’s Office’s, nestled on the other side of the Potomac River in Arlington, VA. Outside, on I-95 there was just a trickle of traffic as we headed into the long weekend of Christmas break. Just a handful of folks inside the White House were aware President Trump had decided to hurry up and sign into law without any fanfare, a Tax Reform Bill Congress had just passed. A bill many are saying is the most historic victory for small business owners in more than a generation. With the signing of that legislation, ACCA ended 2017 with an historic victory for America’s ...
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Association Health Plans may soon be called Small Business Health Plans. The passage of tax reform opened the door for changes to Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and association health plans are on President Trump's list to tackle. On January 4, the Trump Administration issued a proposed rule that would allow small business to band together and create association health plans (AHPs). AHPs have always been a popular idea for ACCA members, and ACCA is working with the Department of Labor and other policy makers to make this happen. The Department of Labor’s proposed rule is open for comment for 60 days, and, as written, would allow employers to join together to ...
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Geothermal & 179D Update

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We have been working to gets those orphans, like Geothermal (Section 25= residential & Section 48= commercial) as well as 179D included in an “Extenders Tax Bill”. I’m pleased to share, Senate Republicans have filed their extenders bill (attached) today, and 179D and Geothermal are in the package. The extension is for one year retrospective and one year prospective- certainly not perfect, but we are there. In terms of next steps, there is a desire to move the bill on the Senate side. Unclear whether that will be before year end or early January. Given the state of play, early January looks more likely at this juncture but everything is very fluid right ...
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Our new tax system will go into effect in just 12 days. Accountants and payroll companies are bracing for confusion as they figure out new withholding rules that will impact your paychecks.   The Treasury Department and the IRS will have to quickly write new regulations to implement the new law, governing everything from the tax regime for businesses that don’t organize as corporations to the endowments of the nation’s elite universities and how multinational corporations are taxed on the profits they make abroad.   While it is expected that the vast majority of ACCA members would see a tax cut next year, those who are ...
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Tax Vote Happening Now

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Tick Tock- with the impeding deadline of our government funding running out this Friday, December 22nd unless Congress passes another continuing resolution or budget bill. That pressure paired, with the Alabama Senate race outcome, and the pressure of Members of Congress and their staff to make it back home for the holidays has the House and Senate in overdrive to pass the first major reform to our nation’s tax laws in decades. Today, the House is passed the Conference Committee’s tax reform bill, and we expect that the bill will pass the Senate this evening. I expect Congress will send over the final package by Wednesday or Thursday for President Trump to ...
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In 2011, the Obama Administration created a program through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that required federal agencies to pay small business contractors within 15 days of receipt of relevant documents. The Obama Administration extended the “Accelerating Payments to Small Businesses for goods and Services” program several times, most recently through in OMB Memo M-17-13, which was issued on January 11, 2017, and it is set to expire on December 31. ACCA is concerned that the Administration has not moved forward with extending this policy, which would hurt ACCA contractor members who perform work for federal agencies by delaying payment. On December ...
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There has been a significant amount of confusion in Illinois about utility rebate programs. Many HVAC and plumbing contractors are concerned that they will be required, in 2018, to obtain an electrician’s license if they wish to perform HVAC installations for energy efficiency rebates as part of utility programs in Illinois. This issue has been presented to contractors throughout the state by utility companies, with some utilities stating that the Illinois Commerce Commission is mandating an electrician’s license and others stating that such licensure is not mandated.   The regulatory language is not clear on this. Therefore, ACCA formed a coalition with the ...
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