AED News

AED Tells Congress to Demonstrate Leadership, Invest in Infrastructure

October 11, 2017 8:26 pm

Congress can no longer shirk its constitutional responsibility to invest in our country’s crumbling infrastructure, Associated Equipment Distributors’ (AED) President and CEO Brian P. McGuire told a House panel this morning.

In a letter delivered to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways & Transit in conjunction with a hearing on building a 21st century infrastructure for America, McGuire informed lawmakers that the federal highway program is at a breaking point as the Highway Trust Fund races toward insolvency. He also highlighted the fact that many states have raised their fuel taxes in the past five years to make up for a substantial funding shortfall and Congress’s failure to act.

McGuire wrote, “Congress must take the hint from outside the Beltway and raise revenues to fund long-term infrastructure projects. The positive impact on the economy will be felt for decades to come and there is no better time to make bold decisions to position our country for long-term economic growth, job creation, competitiveness and security. It’s time for action.”

The hearing comes on the heels of participation from AED’s Chairman Wes Stowers of Stowers Machinery Co., at an exclusive White House briefing with senior administration officials on President Trump’s infrastructure plan. While no funding details were revealed, the administration’s framework centers around encouraging states and localities to raise revenue for infrastructure investment, providing targeted federal investment for rural areas and for “transformative projects”, and streamlining the permitting process to expedite project delivery. More details are expected from the Trump administration in the coming months.

AED Alert: Administration, Congressional Leaders Release Tax Reform Framework

October 2, 2017 1:39 pm

Earlier today, the Trump administration, House and Senate Republican leadership, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Ways & Means and the Senate Committee on Finance released a long-awaited “unified” framework that will serve as the basis for legislative efforts to reform the tax code. The document’s unveiling, which has been negotiated behind the scenes for several months, is expected to kick-off efforts to comprehensively reform the nation’s tax code for the first time in decades.

Highlights of the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code” include:

  • Limiting the maximum tax rate applied to the business income of small and family-owned businesses conducted as sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations to 25 percent;
  • Reducing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent;
  • Repealing the estate tax and the generation-skipping transfer tax;
  • Allowing businesses to immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments in depreciable assets other than structures made after September 27, 2017, for at least five years; and
  • Partially limiting the net interest expense deduction for C corporations while Congress will determine treatment of interest paid by non-corporate taxpayers.

The document is silent on many important issues for AED members, including 1031 exchanges (“like-kind exchanges”), the last in, first out (“LIFO”) accounting method and new revenues for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to invest in road and bridge projects.

Remember, the document is merely a framework and isn’t legislative text.  Reforming the tax code will be a long and complicated effort. Stay tuned to AED for future updates.

If you have any comments on the framework, please reach out to AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher.

To view comments submitted by AED to the Senate Finance Committee outlining the association’s tax reform priorities, click here.

To view a letter sent to Congress regarding the importance of the business interest deduction, click here.

Congress, Administration Should Maintain the Business Interest Deduction

September 21, 2017 1:52 pm

On Sept. 20, AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire delivered a letter to Capitol Hill urging Congress to maintain the business interest deduction in comprehensive tax reform to ensure smaller-medium-sized companies can invest and compete.  “Preventing companies from deducting business interest (or even restricting it to select companies based on size or revenue) will have a significant negative impact on capital intensive industries, such as construction equipment distributors,” McGuire wrote.  To read the full letter, click here.

Esko-area sewer line condition indicative of nationwide crisis

September 18, 2017 1:25 pm

This article was originally published in the Pine Journal. The view the original article, click here.

To the Editor:

The recent discovery that substantial sections of the main sewer line between Cloquet and Duluth are in poor condition and in need of repair forces residents, businesses and local officials to clean up the mess and endure significant expense as our leaders in Washington continue to forsake their responsibility to invest in the nation’s infrastructure in a long-term, sustainable manner (“Sewer main repair may hit $6 million,” Pine Journal Sept. 8).

A strong federal role in partnership with state and local entities is a necessary component to building and maintaining the United States’ infrastructure system. Every day there are numerous examples of structurally deficient bridges, dams and levees and inadequate roads, airports and pipes. Time is wasted in traffic or sitting on an overcrowded runway. Clean water is squandered and roads flooded as water mains break. Quality of life and safety are jeopardized.

Our infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy. It impacts our quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses, and the safety and security of our country. Minnesotans and the rest of the country deserve world-class infrastructure and further delay in Washington is unacceptable.

Brian P. McGuire

President & CEO Associated Equipment Distributors

Schaumburg, Ill.

AED’s McGuire: Washington Has No More Excuses When it Comes to Infrastructure

August 15, 2017 6:01 pm

Brian P. McGuire, president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors, issued the following in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent Value of Construction Put in Place (VIP) survey, which shows public construction spending in the country hit a 24-year low in the second quarter of this year.

“With trillions of dollars of infrastructure needs in the United States, it’s disappointing that public construction spending is declining. However, it’s not surprising, considering our leaders in Washington continue to forsake their responsibility to invest in the nation’s infrastructure in a long-term, sustainable manner. It’s easy to talk about infrastructure investment, but it’s going to take bipartisan leadership and focus to do what’s necessary.

“Time is not on our side when it comes to our infrastructure. Structurally deficient bridges, dams and levees, inadequate roads, airports and pipes are in every community. Public safety is at-risk and economic growth, well-paying jobs and our international competitiveness are being squandered. The time has come for Congress to have a serious debate about infrastructure investment and AED members are ready to work with members of both parties to help make this a reality.”

Congressman Loebsack visits Vermeer equipment dealer

August 14, 2017 2:29 pm

This article was originally posted in The Pella Chronicle. To view the original article, click here.

Congressman Dave Loebsack visited the Vermeer of Iowa & Northern Missouri Equipment Dealer on Wednesday as a part of his “Iowa First” tour.

Loebsack talked to employees and toured the facility after listening to some of their concerns about the bills being considered in congress.

The main topics of discussion were healthcare, the infrastructure bill, tax policies and education and training for jobs similar to what is offered at Vermeer.

The infrastructure bill will not only affect the people building the roads, bridges and installing fiber optics, but the people building and selling the equipment used for some of those projects. People like Vermeer’s equipment dealers.

“What I found interesting was while we all want a trillion dollar infrastructure package, we have to figure out a way to pay for it,” Loebsack said. “I find that not just Democrats, but Republicans, are very concerned about a proposal that is being offered by the Trump administration, which would really only provide about 20 percent of the funding out there.”

President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed an infrastructure bill that would create $1 trillion in infrastructure projects in the U.S., but only a fraction of the cost will be paid by the federal government. The rest will be supplied by the private industry, city and state tax money.

Overall, the infrastructure bill is about jobs, Loebsack said. The jobs provided by Vermeer of Iowa & Northern Missouri Equipment Dealer, and those who buy their equipment, are important. They can’t be exported and they pay well, he continued.

On the topic of healthcare, Loebsack said he is unsure of what possible efforts will go toward any bill this year.

“We’re talking with people not only in our own party, but across the aisle, in the event that that ever failed, and it did fail,” Loebsack said. “What people tell me is they want us to fix the affordable care act and make it work for all of America. It’s worked pretty well for a lot of Americans, but not everyone by any means.”

Congress will need to stabilize the insurance market, Loebsack continued.

“It’s just a matter of putting our nose to the grindstone and getting the job done,” Loebsack said. “Sooner rather than later.”

As Loebsack goes back to Washington this fall, he said he plans to take today’s information and apply that to the infrastructure bill and stabilizing healthcare.

The “Iowa First” tour is a part of a month-long tour during August where Loebsack will meet with Iowans to hear their concerns. After his visit to Pella, Loebsack would tour the HBC/Pharmacy Warehouse in Chariton later that afternoon.

Cohoes Break Proves We Need Investment

August 14, 2017 1:38 pm

This article was originally published in The Record. To view the original article, click here.

Following the major water main break in Cohoes, residents, businesses and local officials are now forced to clean up the mess because our leaders in Washington continue to forsake their responsibility to invest in the nation’s infrastructure in a long-term, sustainable manner.

A strong federal role in partnership with state and local entities is a necessary component to building and maintaining the United States’ infrastructure system. Every day there are numerous examples of structurally deficient bridges, dams and levees and inadequate roads, airports and pipes. Time is wasted in traffic or sitting on an overcrowded runway. Clean water is squandered and roads flooded as water mains break. Lives are put at risk due to crumbling bridges and dams.

Our infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy. It impacts our quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses, and the safety and security of our country. New Yorkers and the rest of the country deserve world-class infrastructure and further delay in Washington is unacceptable.

Brian P. McGuire

 President and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors

Mississippi deserves world class infrastructure

August 11, 2017 1:17 pm

This article was originally published in The Clarion-Ledger. To view the original article, click here.

Following the Kemp Bottom Road bridge collapse in Vicksburg, residents, businesses and local officials are now forced to clean up the mess because our leaders in Washington continue to forsake their responsibility to invest in the nation’s infrastructure in a long-term, sustainable manner.

A strong federal role in partnership with state and local entities is a necessary component to building and maintaining the United States’ infrastructure system. Every day there are numerous examples of structurally deficient bridges, dams and levees and inadequate roads, airports and pipes. Time is wasted in traffic or sitting on an overcrowded runway. Clean water is squandered and roads flooded as water mains break. Lives are put at risk due to crumbling bridges and dams.

Our infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy. It impacts our quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses, and the safety and security of our country. Mississippians and the rest of the country deserve world-class infrastructure and further delay is unacceptable.

Brian P. McGuire

President & CEO

Associated Equipment Distributors

Schaumburg, IL

Key in on infrastructure

July 26, 2017 1:27 pm

This article was originally published in The Wichita Eagle. Find the original article here.

Following the major water main break in Emporia, residents, businesses and local officials are now forced to clean up the mess because our leaders in Washington continue to forsake their responsibility to invest in the nation’s infrastructure in a long-term, sustainable manner.

A strong federal role, in partnership with state and local entities, is a necessary component to building and maintaining the United States’ infrastructure system. Every day there are numerous examples of structurally deficient bridges, dams and levees, and inadequate roads, airports and pipes. Time is wasted in traffic or sitting on an overcrowded runway. Clean water is squandered and roads flooded as water mains break. Lives are put at risk due to crumbling bridges and dams.

Our infrastructure is the lifeblood of our economy. It impacts our quality of life, the competitiveness of our businesses, and the safety and security of our country. Kansans and the rest of the country deserve world-class infrastructure and further delay is unacceptable.

JUDY WORRELL, WICHITA

AED Submits Tax Reform Comments to the Senate Finance Committee

July 19, 2017 1:52 pm

Dear AED Member:

On July 17, AED submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee in response to its request for input on reforming the tax code. AED’s submission focuses on several key priorities and the association’s long-standing tax reform principles, including:

  • Ensuring tax reform benefits (including rate reductions) all business structures, not just C corporations;
  • Incentivizing capital investment by maintaining the deductibility of business interest and preserving Sec. 1031 of the tax code (relating to like-kind exchanges);
  • Clarifying that equipment dealers’ rental income isn’t considered passive and subject to the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent investment income tax;
  • Rejecting efforts to repeal the “last in, first out” (LIFO) accounting method;
  • Repealing the federal estate tax; and
  • Identifying new revenue sources for the Highway Trust Fund.

“AED continues to engage members of the House and the Senate on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the construction equipment industry’s voice is heard as the tax reform process continues,” said AED President & CEO Brian P. McGuire. “AED urges Congress to seize on the once-in-a-generation opportunity to make sweeping changes that simplify and restore long-term certainty to the nation’s tax code while unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation’s small businesses. We look forward to working with Congress and the administration ensure AED members are no longer hindered by a complicated and burdensome tax code.”

For more information about tax reform or AED’s government affairs program, contact AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher.

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