Weekly Legislative Update - February 16, 2018

House Passes Bipartisan Budget Act with Tax Credit Extensions for 2017


The House passed the Bipartisan Budget Act last week, 240-186, and sent the bill to the President, who signed it.

The Senate passes the bill earlier after voting cloture to overcome the delaying tactics of Senator Rand Paul.

The bill becomes law as of February 9.

Employers can begin claiming certifications issued by State Workforce Agencies for 2017 WOTC hires or Empowerment Zone residents, and 2017 Indian Employment tax credits, became effective immediately.


Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Extends Empowerment Zone Tax Incentives And Indian Employment Tax Credit Through 2017


Text of the 700-page McConnell/Schumer budget agreement can be viewed by clicking here.

Extension of Indian Employment Tax Credit is at Section 40301, p.199 of the Senate amendment. Empowerment Zone tax incentives are at Section 40311, p.203.

Contrary to our earlier report, the bill extends these provisions and most other extenders through 2017, not 2018 as the Senate advocated.

This change occurred as a result of talks between Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. Hatch sought Brady's concurrence to include extenders in the government funding bill.

Brady objected, arguing Hatch's list of 33 extenders "ought to be scrubbed" and some eliminated. They compromised on extending the entire list, but limiting the extension to year-end 2017 rather than 2018 desired by the Finance Committee.

We'll continue our campaign for renewal of these credits in the next tax bill that moves-likely a Brady bill to correct errors and oversights in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.


DOL Issues Training And Employment Guidance Letter On WOTC SSI Recipients


Department of Labor has issued TEGL 07-17, Business Process To Verify Payment Status for SSI Recipients For The WOTC Program.

The TEGL may be accessed at https://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_list.cfm


Magnuson-Moss Bill in Maryland


As we continue to push for strong enforcement of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act we testified on a bill in Maryland (HB 434) titled Vehicle Manufacturers - Notice to Purchasers and Lessees - Warranty Requirements, that would strengthen the law.

The bill reads: For the purpose of requiring a motor vehicle manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch to provide a certain notice of warranty requirements to the purchaser or lessee of a new motor vehicle within a certain period of time after the purchase or lease of the motor vehicle; and generally relating to the provision of notice of warranty requirements to purchasers and lessees of motor vehicles by vehicle manufacturers, distributors, or factory branches.

TIA member and tire dealer Todd Huff from Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Centers testified with TIA in support of the bill.

TIA strongly supports this bill and hopes if passed, can serve as a model bill for other states.


Crumb Rubber Legislation


A number of states so far this year have looked at banning crumb rubber in sports fields. TIA has opposed these efforts. We have been involved in bills in New Hampshire (HB 1561), Maryland (SB 763), and Virginia (HB 565). To further our efforts to defeat these bills, TIA has worked with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Synthetic Turf Council (STC), and TIA members.

We recently testified in opposition to HB 1561 in New Hampshire and will be testifying in Maryland in a few weeks. The New England Tire & Service Association testified with TIA on the NH bill.  

We ask that dealers interested in this topic to contact us for more information and how to get involved. We expect to see similar bills in a variety of states this year.