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From Home Furnishing Business

HFA Supports Restoring Investment in Improvements Act

The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) is urging Congress to pass the Restoring Investment in Improvements Act before its August recess.

The bipartisan legislation corrects a drafting error in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which inadvertently reversed an accelerated depreciation allowance for improvements made to retail business property. As a result, many furniture stores have been unable to invest in renovations and updates.

A Home Furnishings Association delegation of furniture retailers recently visited Capitol Hill, where they met with senators and representatives to express support for this important legislation. For more information on this issue and the HFA Fly-in, click here.

“We are encouraged that so many members of Congress of both parties have agreed to co-sponsor the bills in the House and Senate,” said Sharron Bradley, CEO of HFA. “At the same time, it was frustrating to learn that progress has been stalled by partisan gridlock at the leadership level. It seems that Democrats want something in return for letting the bills proceed while Republicans are reluctant to bargain. That’s just not acceptable. This correction needs to be made soon.”

The Senate bill, S 803, was introduced by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) with several co-sponsors of both parties. The total number of co-sponsors has increased to 29.

HR 1869 was introduced by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Ca.) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and has attracted more than 100 other co-sponsors.

Several HFA members, including Matt Schultz of John V Schultz Furniture in Erie, Pa., and Shane Spiller of Spiller Furniture & Mattress in Tuscaloosa, Ala., have told their senators and representatives they have put projects on hold because of the inability to deduct the cost of improvements and the uncertainty about whether Congress will address the issue.

“Congress clearly meant to provide an accelerated depreciation schedule for retail businesses that renovate and update showrooms, offices and warehouses, and a simple correction should be routine,” Bradley said. “Both Republicans and Democrats recognize that and want to fix the problem, but their leaders seem to be getting in the way. They’re only hurting businesses like furniture retailers and the communities they help support.”

The Restoring Investment in Improvements Act should be a legislative priority. If it is enacted this summer, it will allow businesses that requested 2018 tax-filing extensions to Oct. 15, 2019, to claim deductions for expenditures made last year. But first the partisan logjam must be broken.

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