Members of Congress are being asked to sign on to a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would accelerate depreciation for installing fire sprinkling systems from 39 years to 5 years. If passed, the bill could spur an increase in fire sprinkler installations, which security dealers often monitor for tamper and waterflow.
Coupled with a substantial decrease in the estimated cost to the U.S. Treasury of the tax break, proponents of the legislation that has been introduced twice before in the House and Senate since 2003 anticipate enactment of the legislation.
“The bills originally were scored by the joint tax committee at a $2.2 billion effect on the U.S. Treasury over 10 years,” reported Jim Dalton, director of public fire protection for the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), Patterson, N.Y., which has spearheaded the legislation.
Legislation proposing the change in depreciation was submitted during two Congresses, in 2003 and 2005. “The problem with getting it passed was that score.” Dalton explained. “With the deficit, the Iraq War, the financial burden that Hurricane Katrina imposed on us economically, they just were not passing things that had that kind of a price tag on it. But the bill got tremendous support over those two Congresses.”
The new estimate of the effect of the legislation on the U.S. Treasury is now $884 million over 10 years and $348 million over five years. “That is the fact that leads to our increased optimism for the upcoming Congress,” Dalton noted.
The NFSA has worked with the Congressional Fire Services Institute and Sens. Gordon Smith. R-Ore., and John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., to prepare the legislation for reintroduction.
For more information and a sample letter expressing support for the legislation, visit www.nfsa.org/fsia/fsiahome.html.