Sunday, September 18, 2011

American Jobs Act – What Is In It For Your Construction Business?

Please, ladies and gentlemen, don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t write the legislation, I just report what is in it so your business can take advantage of the appropriations if you so choose. Having said that, here is a breakdown of what is in the 155 page American Jobs Act of 2011, as introduced by the Obama administration, which affects the construction industry, segment by segment.

      If your construction industry group or business would like a more detailed presentation of the provisions of this proposed federal law, I am available to speak to your organization about it. Just send me an e-mail at the address below proposing a time and location.

All Segments of Construction

·        Buy American iron, steel and manufactured goods

·        Employee payroll tax cut from 4.2% to 3.1%

·        Employer payroll tax cut from 6.2% to 3.1%

·        Zero payroll tax on pay increases up to $50 million in increased wages

·        100% first year write off for new equipment in 2011

·        50% first year write off for new equipment in 2012

·        Tax credit for hiring veterans unemployed 6 months or more increased from $4,800 to $9,600

·        Tax credit for new hiring of veterans unemployed 6 months or more of $5,600 and $2,400 for new hiring of veterans unemployed 4 weeks to 6 months

·        Tax credit of $4,000 for new hiring of any person unemployed for 6 months or more

·        $1.5 billion for job training, including registered apprenticeship programs

·        Prohibits hiring discrimination against the unemployed

·        Requires payment of Davis Bacon prevailing wages on any project receiving funding

Residential Construction

·        Project Rebuild appropriates $15 billion for rehabilitation of vacant and foreclosed homes and neighborhood stabilization

·        Includes homeownership assistance and homebuyer rehabilitation funding

·        Prohibits use of funds for demolition of existing public housing

·        Prohibits flipping of rehabilitated properties

·        Includes requirements to hire a certain portion of labor force from the project vicinity

Commercial Construction

·        School Building Modernization: $25 billion for elementary and secondary school buildings, plus another $5 billion for community colleges

·        Up to 30% of $15 billion in Project Rebuild funds may be used for commercial building rehabilitation that will help stabilize neighborhoods

Industrial Construction

·        $6.5 billion for construction of a new nationwide public safety broadband network

Government Construction

·        Increases SBA surety bond guarantees from $2 million up to $5 million

·        $27 billion for highway and railway construction under current formulas

·        $4 billion for intercity and high speed passenger rail corridor construction with 100% federal share

·        $3 billion for public transit construction with 100% federal share

·        $2 billion for Amtrak construction upgrades

·        $6 billion for fixed bus guideway construction

·        $5 billion for competitive surface transportation construction grants

·        $10 billion initial funding for American Infrastructure Financing Authority to provide direct loans or loan guarantees financing infrastructure construction projects which can repay by means of tolls, user fees or other dedicated revenue sources in 35 years or less
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