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Tax Deduction Extended

BY Marianne Wilson

The economic-recovery package passed by Congress in fall 2007 contained some welcome news for retailers and other commercial building owners: the extension of the Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction through Dec. 31, 2013.

Previously introduced as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the deduction was designed to encourage building professionals to invest in lighting, HVAC, hot water and building-envelope systems identified as being able to reduce energy costs in their new or renovated facilities.

The deduction allows building owners to claim a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for buildings that save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001.

Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. These deductions are available for systems “placed in service” from Jan. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2013 (go to www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/tax_commercial.html for more information).

While deducting the cost of a capital investment such as new lighting is not all that special, the CBD goes one step further in that the owner can potentially write off the entire cost of the new lighting in the tax year in which it is placed in service, as opposed to it being capitalized and depreciated or amortized over time. This means that a cost item can now be claimed in a single tax year.

It’s also worth noting that the Interim Lighting Rule, which was supposed to be in effect only until the partial deduction rules were written, is still in effect. The rule enables commercial building owners to deduct the full cost of new interior lighting, capped at $.30 to $.60, on a sliding scale based on lighting power density reductions beyond ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2001 standard.

Additionally, the legislation creates new credits for combined heat- and power-system property, small wind-energy property and geothermal heat-pump systems through 2016.

Other provisions include:

  • Extension of the Renewable Energy Production Credit (for wind to 2010 and for solar, biomass, geothermal and hydro to 2011); and
  • Extension of credits for solar energy property, fuel-cell property and microturbines through 2016. The bill increases the $500 per half kilowatt of capacity cap for qualified fuel cells to $1,500 per half kilowatt of capacity, and adds small commercial wind as a category of qualified investment. The bill also provides a new 10% investment tax credit for combined heat and power systems and geothermal heat pumps. The bill allows these credits to be used to offset the alternative minimum tax.

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‘Biggest Loser’ trainer helps introduce new NordicTrack

BY CSA STAFF

LOGAN, Utah Jillian Michaels, a trainer from the NBC show “The Biggest Loser,” has teamed up with NordicTrack to introduce the NordicTrack Incline Trainer.

“People don’t realize how many more calories they can burn by adding dramatic incline to a simple treadmill walk,” said Jillian Michaels, who is known for getting significant weight loss results for her teams on “The Biggest Loser.” “NordicTrack has made it convenient for everyone to do incline training in their home and transform a walk into a workout.”

The NordicTrack Incline Trainer has an introductory price of $1,599 and is available at www.nordictrack.com and Sears. The Incline Trainer is designed and manufactured in Logan, Utah at the NordicTrack headquarters and plant.

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Giant Food launches free antibiotic prescription program

BY CSA STAFF

LANDOVER, Md. Giant Food announced that it is launching a free prescription program covering 36 generic antibiotics in nine basic categories. The program will run from Jan. 2 to March 21, 2009, at all Giant pharmacies.

“Giant pharmacies are committed to improving the health and wellness in our communities during the winter season when families are susceptible to coughs, colds, and bacteria-borne illnesses,” explained Andrea Astrachan, consumer advisor for Giant Food. “As the provider of fresh, wholesome foods that help our customers stay healthy, we feel it is equally important to offer these free antibiotics to fight illness,” she said.

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