HOUSTON, March 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Rick Lazio, alliantgroup’s Senior Vice President and former U.S. Congressman from New York, testified before the House Ways and Means’ Tax Policy Subcommittee regarding expired tax provisions, including the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction (Section 179D).

During the hearing, Lazio highlighted why the deduction was not only sound energy policy, but a vital incentive to the designers, engineers and contractors that help drive the American economy. Under Section 179D, building owners who make energy efficient improvements to a building’s envelope, lighting and/or HVAC system are eligible to receive an up to $1.80 per square foot tax deduction.

“Encouraging energy efficient building significantly supports the policy goals of Congress of energy independence and energy efficiency for our nation, while at the same time reducing costs for both businesses and taxpayers,” said Lazio. “Incentivizing the design of energy efficient buildings relieves the burden placed on the environment. And it opens up previous resources for the public sector through lower operating costs for the government entities that own these buildings, which in turn allows them to invest more in their core missions.”

In his written and oral testimony, Lazio offered a number of suggestions on ways to improve the program to further promote American energy independence and efficiency as well as ways to make the deduction more beneficial for U.S. businesses.

“Small businesses – especially architects and engineering firms that are designers of government buildings are too often unable to utilize the benefits of 179D because of basis issues,” said Lazio. “The statute should be changed to address the basis issues and allow these small businesses owners to fully benefit from the 179D deduction.”

Lazio presented additional legislative changes that would improve benefits for building retrofits, expand the provision to benefit designers of charitable buildings and Indian tribes, raise the ASHRAE energy efficient standards over time and make 179D a permanent fixture in the tax code.

“We have seen first-hand the positive impact this open policy has had of unleashing the creativity of engineers and designers in providing new and innovative ways to achieve energy efficiency – helping to keep America a leader in the field of energy efficient design,” said Lazio.

“During his testimony, Rick passionately articulated the importance of 179D in not only promoting better energy policy, but in helping to drive a vital sector of our economy,” said alliantgroup CEO Dhaval Jadav. “179D incentivizes the creation of more innovative designs and buildings, which will ultimately lead to more dynamic and competitive design and construction industries. I applaud Rick for offering commonsense solutions that will provide tremendous value for American architects, engineers and contractors.”

alliantgroup is a leading tax consultancy and the nation’s premier provider of specialty tax services. The firm assists U.S. businesses and their CPA advisors in properly identifying and claiming all federal and state tax incentives that were designed for their benefit. These incentive programs were created to help American businesses grow and remain competitive in an increasingly global economy. To date, alliantgroup has helped 12,000 U.S. businesses claim over $6 billion in tax savings. For more information on alliantgroup, please follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.