Washington, D.C. The National Retail Federation on Tuesday asked the House of Representatives to renew the federal tax law that shortens the time it takes merchants to write off the cost of remodeling done at their stores, saying the provision is helping keep stores open and creates jobs.
“In the current economic climate, some retailers look at remodeling as a way to revitalize a failing store, but the anticipated return has to pay for the costs involved,” said NRF senior VP for government relations Steve Pfister. “If the costs must be written off over 39 years, it would be much more difficult to make the decision to remodel the store. Thousands of jobs in the construction industry would be lost if this remodeling is slowed down or canceled.”
Pfister’s comments came in a letter to members of the House, which is scheduled to vote Wednesday on H.R. 4213, the Tax Extenders Act of 2009. The measure would extend almost 50 current tax laws set to expire after Dec. 1.
Included in the bill is a provision that would grant a one-year extension to the current 15-year period for depreciation of remodeling work done at retail stores that are owned, any commercial real estate that is leased, and restaurants whether they are owned or leased. Without congressional action, the period would revert to 39 years.
The provision would provide an estimated $5.4 billion in tax relief to retailers, restaurants and other businesses over 10 years.