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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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July 9, 2015

The five groups provided little consensus. Four of the groups made no specific recommendations and only produced long descriptions of current law and or parsed various proposals that have already been offered. For instance, the infrastructure group proposed taxing unrepatriated foreign profits of U.S. multinationals to finance the Highway Trust Fund in the short term, and a vehicle mileage tax (VMT) to pay for roads over the long-term – a concept studied during a meeting by the House Ways and Means Committee a few weeks ago. The business group set four principles of business reform including a substantial corporate tax rate reduction and broader tax reform for all businesses. The next phase for the Finance Committee is unclear, as the panel must contend with how to address the Highway Trust Fund deadline looming at the end of the month.

June 4, 2015

The Senate Finance Working Groups were granted an informal extension through June to submit their recommendations on ways to reform the tax code to the committee’s leadership. On the House side, committee members are working to wrangle together enough offsets to fund a long-term highway bill.

May 28, 2015

The AGC Financial Issues Committee (FIC) Summer Meeting will be held June 8-9, 2015 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. The meeting is geared toward member company AGC member company CFOs, Treasurers, Finance Directors, Controllers, Tax Directors and other senior accounting professionals. Members have an opportunity to learn as well as formulate positions on tax and accounting matters that directly affect the bottom line and operations of AGC member companies of all sizes and specialties. Current FIF projects include helping construction companies to prepare for the new Revenue Recognition Accounting Standard Update that goes into effect in 2017.

May 21, 2015

This week, the House of Representatives passed the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 by a 274 to 145 vote. The $182 billion research & development (R&D) legislation, introduced by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), would amend the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent a modified version of the tax credit for qualified research expenses, retroactive to December 31, 2014, when the credit expired.

April 30, 2015

For the first time since 2010, the House and Senate have reached agreement on a joint budget resolution. The resolution would cut $5.3 trillion from the budget to balance federal receipts and expenditures over nine years.  The majority of those cuts would come from mandatory entitlement programs such as Medicare. As expected, the discretionary spending in 2016 will be at the current budget cap levels of $1.016 trillion.

March 26, 2015

On Wednesday, the House approved a Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution, H. Con. Res. 27, by a 228-199 vote, with 17 Republicans voting in opposition. The pivotal vote for successful passage of a final version came minutes earlier, when House Republicans voted 219 to 208 to adopt a substitute amendment that increased the limit on war spending to $96 billion and removed a requirement that any of it to be offset, a rare voting strategy used by leadership to give conservatives a chance to vote on their priority, while also allowing a vote on an amendment that leadership and defense hawks needed for final passage.

March 19, 2015

This week, the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees released their 2016 budgets with the House panel passing their bill on a party line vote.  The Senate Budget Committee is expected to pass their bill later today.

July 21, 2015

Construction employment declined in 25 states between May and June even as 39 states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between June 2014 and June 2015, according to an analysis today of Labor Department data by AGC. Association officials noted that the monthly construction employment declines come as Congress continues to search for ways to pay for new highway and transit investments.

July 2, 2015

Construction employment held steady in June at the highest level in six years, while the number of unemployed workers with construction experience fell to the lowest total since 2001, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said that the new data indicates contractors are having a hard time finding enough qualified workers to meet growing demand in many parts of the country.

July 1, 2015

Construction spending climbed in May to the highest level since October 2008, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.  Association officials cautioned, however, that those spending gains could be at risk unless all levels of government strengthen programs to develop the construction workforce.


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