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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 top on President Trumps list to tackle. On January 4, the Trump Administration (Department of Labor, which Secretary Acosta has confirmed he will be speaking at our conference next month), 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 ...
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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 now. ...
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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 considering ...
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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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Today the House of Representative's Workforce Development Committee began debating the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER), a bill that is intended to help improve the outlook of post-secondary education and reduce the gaps in the workforce. ACCA urged the Committee to pass the PROSPER Act , because it includes several provisions that will help employers fill the vast number of vacancies in the skilled trades and train existing workers with new skills. In particular, the PROSPER Act will help close the skills gap that exists in the HVACR and Energy Efficiency Industry. This legislation provides new funding ...
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Tax reform is here, and ACCA knows that trying to separate the fact from the fiction can be a challenge. That is why we are here. We asked former contractor, and current Oklahoma Congressman, Markwayne Mullins, to break down what tax reform really means for HVACR Contractors and Small Businesses. Check out his video message below.
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In the early morning hours of December 2, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Now the House and Senate will conference and craft a consensus package that will go back to both chambers for a vote. President Trump and GOP leaders want the package signed in 2017, and preferably before the Christmas holidays. What Exactly Is “Conference” Conference is where selected members of both the U.S. House and Senate meet to reconcile differences between the respective versions of the tax reform bill. On 12/4 Speaker Ryan Named Lawmakers for Tax Reform Bill Conference Ways and Means Committee 1. Conference Chair: Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) ...
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ACCA raised our concerns with the Senate leadership, and the Senate Finance Committee about the treatment of pass-through businesses in the House tax reform proposal, which passed the House of Representatives on November 16. The House tax reform proposal and lowered the rates on pass-through businesses to 25 percent, but only 30 percent of the income would be taxed at that rate. The other 70 percent would be subject to the normal income tax rates. Alternatively, a pass-through business could go through a complicated formula that adds complexity to a proposal that is being sold as tax simplification. Read my  earlier blog if  you want to read a more detailed analysis ...
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The federal estate tax is a burden on family businesses.  Not only does the tax threaten to close HVACR family businesses, it also takes capital away from the business to pay for the expensive estate planning. ACCA has been lobbying to reel in this tax, and wanted to share where things stand after our analysis of the House and Senate tax reform bills so contractors know what this means for their businesses. The House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill that would kill the death tax starting in 2023. Until then, the House bill will increase the federal death tax   exemption in 2018 for single individuals from $5.6m to $11.2m and for married couples ...
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Here’s your chance to  nominate an individual  from an ACCA contractor member company known for his/her stellar spirit of giving and charitable work for the 2018 Skip Snyder Humanitarian Award.  This award recognizes an ACCA contractor who makes extraordinary humanitarian efforts for those in need for the betterment of society and the community. Nominations  must be submitted by December 15, 2017. If you would like to nominate more than one person, please submit a separate nomination form for each nominee. This prestigious award will be presented during the IE3 Show taking place February 12 - 14, 2018, at the Gaylord National in Washington, D.C. And ...
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Tax reform is here, and a number of ACCA's priorities are being included in this legislation: estate tax; HEAT Act; geothermal; business expensing; and a few others.  Unfortunately, the changes to pass-through businesses are not ideal.  For the most part, this is a good bill for the HVAC Industry. Despite the many positive aspects for our industry, we remain hard at work to work to continue to improve our position. Below you will find my latest update on what’s in the legislation.  Business Tax Rates: ACCA member businesses classified as C-corporations will have their tax rate reduced from 35% to 20%. One of the largest pay-fors to lower the corporate ...
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Once again, workers in a Nissan plant in Mississippi voted firmly against union representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW). On August 3, by a vote of 2,344 to 1,307, Nissan’s production and maintenance employees soundly reject the UAW. This is the third, but maybe not the final time. Over the years, the UAW has invested heavily in trying to bring organized labor into Mississippi, and had brought in actors (Danny Glover) and politicians (Bernie Sanders) to help swing the vote in favor of union infiltration. UAW has also filed numerous legal actions on unfair labor practices against Nissan, including employee intimidation and other misconduct by the ...
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In the ongoing saga of the proposed changes to the overtime rules under the Obama administration, the last significant event on its trajectory was a temporary injunction issued by a federal judge in Texas last Thanksgiving. The timeline was recently updated when the 5 th Circuit Court of Appeals tentatively scheduled oral argument on October 2. By way of background, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under then-President Obama issued final regulations in May 2016 that would have more than doubled the minimum salary requirement for white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed levels grew from $455 per week to $913 per week. ...
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In the wake of President Trump dissociating the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, many Americas are concerned that the U.S. will no longer make serious attempts to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure our homes and buildings are efficient.  As a heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) contractor, and National Chairman of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), I can tell you that, when it comes to my industry, public policy has fundamentally ignored a key energy efficiency issue for some time.  The HVACR industry has been a prominent target for efficiency regulations because the mechanical systems we install ...
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An ongoing hot topic these days in the employment world is family and medical leave laws. In addition to the federal level, many states have pushed to enact extended and more comprehensive family and sick leave requirements for the private sector workforce. Georgia has never mandated that private sector employers provide sick leave to employees – until now. Enter SB 201. However, unlike other jurisdictions now imposing mandatory sick leave, Georgia’s law only applies to employers who already offer paid sick leave benefits to their employees. Further, the law only applies to private employers that employ more than 25 employees. The new law, generally referred ...
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The dog days of summer are upon us, and things get a little slower in the courts as judges go on recess, and state legislatures adjourn for a portion of the next couple of months. So, for this blog, we offer some basic tips on how to handle employees who have violated a workplace policy and who refuse to sign disciplinary forms. To set the stage, documentation is an important part of an employer’s legal defense. Well-executed documentation should be obvious to owners and managers, yet it is surprising at how often many of these people omit proper recording of events that can lead to litigation and judgements against their bottom line. In your documentation, ...
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The final bell has rung (do they even do that anymore?) and school is over for the year. While we’ve addressed internships in general in the past, and what requirements must be in place to treat workers as unpaid volunteers, this blog is geared towards the younger set. Here, we dispense a modicum of advice regarding teens out of school looking to earn some extra spending money, and parents seeking to keep them occupied for the next couple of months. Both state and federal laws restrict the employer of minors, also called “child labor”, and what follow are some of the highlights of what you should watch for: Per federal law, workers under the age of 18 ...
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