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Featured News | April 21, 2023
ACEC Member Action Needed: Urge Lawmakers to Cosponsor Legislation that Will Repeal R&D Amortization
We’re seeing movement in Congress on the five-year R&D amortization requirement and have launched a new grassroots push supporting repeal.
On Tuesday, April 18th, Congressmen Ron Estes (R-KS) and John Larson (D-CT) introduced H.R. 2673 to repeal R&D amortization, joining S. 866 introduced in March by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Todd Young (R-IN). The House bill has a bipartisan group of 65 cosponsors, including 28 members of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, which sends a strong message of support for repeal right out of the gate. The Senate bill currently has an equally strong bipartisan group of 22 cosponsors.
As we’ve discussed, ACEC and our coalition allies worked hard to resolve this problem late last year, but the fix was caught up in a larger debate over business tax relief and family tax relief in the form of an expanded child tax credit. We launched a grassroots effort in January to support repeal and are now re-launching it to build up the list of cosponsors for both bills. We aim to get a majority of the House and Senate on record in favor of repeal to set the stage for passage.
Members can access ACEC’s Action Alert Center to ask their lawmakers to support this critical legislation. Even if they contacted their House and Senate members earlier this year, we need them to reach out again and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 2673 and S. 866.
ACEC Sends Letter to President Biden on Workforce Issues
ACEC president and CEO Linda Bauer Darr sent a letter to President Biden urging action on workforce issues that currently impact the engineering and design services industry. In the letter, ACEC expressed its strong support for IIJA, IRA, and the CHIPS Act but pointed out that America doesn't have enough engineers to do the work called for by this critical legislation.
ACEC requested targeted reforms to the H1-B and other visa programs, such as modifying the material change amendment requirement, recommending that USCIS supports guidance that considers engineering a specialty occupation, and prohibiting multiple entries in the visa lottery system, among other initiatives to ease the labor shortage of engineers.
Private Market and Economic Outlook - April 2023
The latest Construction Put in Place (CPiP) numbers were released by the U.S. Census Bureau earlier this month, covering design and construction spending data for both private and public sectors for February 2023. Total design and construction spending was up year-over-year by 5.2%. The most important number to watch was that private residential spending was down -5.7% y/y for February 2023. Private non-residential was up significantly by 19.4%, and public spending by 12.8%.
The top five markets showing positive design and construction spending, based on year-over-year analysis from February 2022 to February 2023, included Manufacturing (up 53%), Lodging (up 38.8%), Conservation & Development (up 25.6%), Commercial (up 22.8%) and Sewage and Waste Disposal (up 21.9%).
The coolest markets with a decline in growth included Residential (down -5.1%) and Power (down -3.4%). The remaining three markets experienced growth but were minimal compared to the other market spikes and included Communication (up 4.6%), Educational (up 8.6%), and Religious (up 9.4%). Overall, the decline in design and construction spending in the residential market was predicted to indicate an economic downturn in the U.S. Manufacturing continues to increase as consumer spending remains strong, and the jump in Lodging is likely a rebound from the COVID-induced recession.