A Word from the CEO – January 2017

November 8, 2016, a date that will go down in history as the day the U.S. electorate rejected politics as usual–at least at the national level–and embraced change in the form of a reality TV star with an impressive business resume and a quirky personality. With Trump taking office later this month, let’s look at a few of our key legislative priorities, which should be favorably viewed by the new administration.

Tax Reform – EDA supports tax reform that includes a balanced approach through fair and reasonable personal and corporate tax, and does not penalize passthrough entities with double taxation. Our top tax-related priorities include:

  • ​Change the farm and ranch equipment assigned class life to five years for depreciation purposes, matching the assigned class life of construction equipment;
  • Modify current depreciation schedules for equipment dealer buildings and their contents to reflect actual lifetime usage rates and specialty uses to match the needs of the industry;
  • Continue to allow the Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) accounting method, as any repeal of this tax provision would have a significant negative economic impact on dealers using this method;
  • Repeal the death tax; and
  • Delete IRC Section 263A of the IRS Code that requires businesses to capitalize certain costs, such as labor, handling, purchasing and inventory product storage.

Regulatory Reform – EDA supports reform that restores checks and balances to the regulatory process, including:

  • ​Solicit public participation in the rulemaking process;
  • Place restrictions on the use of interim final regulations;
  • Provide rigorous tests as to the cost of new regulations; and
  • Require agencies to choose the least costly regulatory option unless the agency can prove a need to protect public health, safety and/or welfare.

Right to Repair – EDA supports legislation/regulations that protect consumers and enhance consumer safety. We oppose legislation/regulations that allow the widespread release of proprietary equipment repair information to unqualified persons or entities that are not subject to uniform standards including training, safety, engineering and environmental. Such legislation/regulations could facilitate conduct which would put equipment operators and third parties at risk and position dealers who invest in training, safety and liability coverage at an unfair economic disadvantage.

A few of our other priorities include supporting trade agreements and immigration policies that benefit the ag industry, protecting the renewable fuel standards and positioning the farm bill for a quick and beneficial renewal in 2019. Regardless of the issue, we continue to work on your behalf to promote legislative policies that positively impact equipment dealers and the broader ag industry. For more information about EDA’s legislative priorities or to participate on EDA’s Government Relations Committee, contact the EDA office at info@equipmentdealer.org. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your international organization.

Rick Lawhun, CEO