Architects sound cautions on tax reform proposals

WASHINGTON, D.C., - September 28, 2017 - The American Institute of Architects today issued cautions on the tax reform proposals advanced by the Administration and Congressional Republicans. Please attribute to AIA 2017 President Thomas Vonier, FAIA:

"Any tax reforms must do three basic things:

•           Support and strengthen small businesses, which account for the vast majority of U.S. architecture firms.

•           Encourage innovative, economically vibrant, sustainable and resilient buildings and communities.

•           Treat all taxpayers fairly.

"We are reviewing these proposals carefully, to see how they align with our principles to support good design and strong communities.

"It is encouraging that the proposal retains the low income housing tax credit, because that is good public policy.  So is maintaining fair tax rates for thousands of small and family-owned businesses organized as partnerships or Subchapter S Corporations—that is the majority of U.S. architecture firms.

"However, many of the details necessary to judge this proposal fully are lacking. Recent analyses suggest that some architecture firms could be treated unfairly, simply because they provide 'professional services.'

"The proposals also leave open the possibility that tax policies promoting good design could be eliminated. This includes historic building tax credits, which have done so much to preserve the legacy of American architecture for future generations.  We also want to maintain incentives for sustainable design, like the 179D energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction, which we know creates jobs, saves money, and helps the environment.

"As these proposals move forward, Congress must hold open and transparent hearings, so that the people and businesses who are directly affected by these proposals have a voice in their development. As architects, we stand ready to take an active and prominent part in this process. Tax reform is about more than abstract numbers; these policies have real impacts on small businesses and communities throughout the country."

About The American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

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John Schneidawind
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