April 2015: Government affairs

Words: Dan Kamys

Representative Brady Re-Introduces Death Tax Repeal Bill

Bborg_1114y Stephen A. Borg

With the start of the 114th Session of the United States Congress, we begin anew in our efforts to protect and support you, the members of the Mason Contractors Association of America. We are continuing our efforts to pass a Check-Off Program for the masonry industry and block the implementation of the new proposed crystalline silica exposure rule out of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. And, we were extremely excited by the recent re-introduction of H.R. 1105 – the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 – in late-February by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX). Rep. Brady has been a staunch ally in our efforts to protect you and other small businesses throughout the country from the burdensome, unfair death tax. We are hopeful that the full House of Representatives will act on this bill in the near future. As you know, the death tax has been the cause of many headaches to business owners and family members throughout the decades during which it has existed, and that was even before the tax rates and exemption levels changed nine times on an annual basis between 2002 and 2012. Estimates have shown that in 2006, family businesses spent more than $28 billion just to comply with the law, and only 10 percent of small business owners have a good understanding of the death tax and their compliance requirements.  But, what is most egregious, is the fact that this tax is levied simply by the death of a business owner and on assets that have already been taxed. While we were pleased that the estate tax was recently extended permanently at a 35 percent rate and included an exemption of $5 million per individual indexed for inflation, the MCAA will continue to fight for the full repeal of the tax once and for all. This is why we were so excited to see Rep. Brady take up our cause once again. At the time of writing this article, there were 41 cosponsors of the legislation. We are working with many other organizations to boost that number and show strong, bipartisan support for scrapping this tax. This is where you can play a major role. Take the time to pick up the phone and call your Member of Congress and ask him or her to cosponsor H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. Better yet, invite your Member of Congress out to your office or a jobsite, and share your personal stories of how the death tax affects you and your family as well as the need to finally permanently repeal this unfair, over-burdensome tax. If you are unsure who your Representative is in the U.S. House of Representatives, take the time to go to www.house.gov, where you can input your zip code and find your representative. As I have stated many times in this column before, the Mason Contractors Association of America’s voice is only as strong as its involved members. The more members like you we have participating, the greater impact we can have in Washington, D.C., and in the state capitols throughout the country.
  Stephen A. Borg is VP of The Keelen Group, www.keelengroup.com. Return to Table of Contents
Westlake Royal Building Products™ Expands Partnership with Boise Cascade® for Cedar Renditions™ and Versetta Stone® Distribution

Westlake Royal Building Products™ (“Westlake Royal”), a Westlake company (NYSE:WLK), today announced an expanded partnership with Boise Cascade®, a leading manufacturer and distributor of building materials throughout North America. Strengthening Westl

Four Different Types of Natural Stone Used For Masonry

Natural stone has been a staple in masonry for centuries. Before it was used to transform home and landscape designs on residential properties, it was used for historical buildings and some of the most iconic destinations in the world.

Advice to the Beginners

The best advice I could give anyone that is starting a career in masonry is that first and foremost, you must "know" yourself. What do you like to do? What would you like in a working environment? Do you like to be outside? Do you enjoy physical activity

About: Featured
Masonry Safety Inspections

The look of confusion and utter loss on people’s faces when I tell them that I’m a safety inspector for a masonry company is often hilarious.

About: Safety