The Fiscal Cliff
We had another great and productive annual MCAA Midyear Meeting in Park City, Utah, from Sept. 12-14, 2012. Nearly 80 members of the MCAA made it to the Midyear Meeting, where we heard from MCAA Committee Chairmen and Chairwomen and had a great discussion surrounding the current climate in Washington, D.C., with the looming November elections.
During these three days, we heard plenty to be excited about and had encouraging presentations on the plans for the MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas in February 2013. Unfortunately, I was tasked with presenting the overview of Washington, D.C., and cut the enthusiasm with discussions surrounding the “fiscal cliff.” The fiscal cliff is the term given to the looming expiration of the current tax rates put in place in 2001 and 2003, and the across the board sequestration cuts of $1.2 trillion included under the Budget Control Act.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently warned that if Congress and the President do not act to halt these coming tax increases and across the board spending cuts, our country will most likely fall into another recession – one that very well could be more drastic than the one we just felt.
So what does this all mean to members of the MCAA? If Congress does not act to prevent the expiration of the current tax structure at the end of 2012, the following tax implications will occur:
- The 10 percent tax bracket will disappear and the 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, and 35 percent rates will revert to 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent, and 39.6 percent, respectively.
- The current Estate Tax levels of a $5.12 million exemption and maximum rate of 35 percent are set to revert back to an exemption of just $1 million and a maximum rate 55 percent.
- The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will hit thousands of middle class taxpayers in 2013, if Congress fails to act. The AMT was originally intended to ensure that very wealthy taxpayers were not able to use loopholes to pay no taxes. However, the AMT was not indexed for inflation and as a result, without a “patch,” will engulf middle class taxpayers it was never intended to impact.
As I wrote about earlier this year, many of these issues were brought to the attention of Congress during the annual Masonry Industry Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., in May, but it is imperative that you continue to build relationships with your members of Congress and that you continue to tell your stories. These are drastic increases in taxes that will hit your bottom line, block your expansion efforts, and further stall our economy, during a time when the economy is already sputtering along.
I took great pride in seeing so many passionate, involved, and informed Members of MCAA in Park City and know that participation in Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and at the Midyear Meeting in 2013 will be even stronger. MCAA is only as strong as its members; the masonry industry is only as strong as its companies; and the economy is only as strong as the companies that build our infrastructure.
While Congress currently is not in session with the approaching elections on Nov. 6, 2012, it will return to Washington, D.C., soon after the elections for a “lame duck” session of Congress, where MCAA and The Keelen Group will urge action on these issues – lest we fall off the “fiscal cliff.”
- 60October 2010 Government Affairs The Value of Restoration Matthew B. Keelen and Michael J. Falencki As Congress returns at the beginning of September after being on summer recess for over a month, much of the attention is focused on the upcoming November elections. With attention to lagging jobs and economy numbers, many pundits predict that…
- 57A Voice in Washington Mark Kemp Chairman Mason Contractors Association of America Mark@superiormasonry.com Last month, I said to “Be a voice, and be heard.” Well, the time is now with our Legislative Conference being held May 12-14. Do not let people in Washington decide what is best for you, your company, and your industry. We…
- 47Our Voices Are Being Heard Mike Sutter I am more excited than usual for this year’s MCAA Legislative Fly-In on May 13-14. I have been going to the fly-ins for a number of years, and each year in our position papers, Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors is listed. I always make sure it is…
- 47January 2011 Government Affairs Lame Duck: Wrapping up the 111th Congress Matthew B. Keelen and Michael J. Falencki Before November’s new Members of Congress officially begin their terms, the 111th Congress was attempting to finish legislation and adjourn for the year. The two issues most pressing – expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts…
- 47March 2013 Government Affairs Legislative Update From MCAA Annual Convention Stephen Borg We had yet another productive and successful time in early-February at the 2013 MCAA Convention at the World of Concrete/World of Masonry in Las Vegas. Many MCAA members were present, and we had an extremely active session discussing the upcoming year in Washington,…