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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited
Industry rallies to IPC's call for 3 not 5!
Industry rallies to IPC's call for "3 not 5!"
Keywords Depreciation, IPC
Actual depreciation remains the rallying call for members of the printed wiring board (PWB) and electronics assembly industries as they prepare to head to Washington for IPC's Capitol Hill Day '99. IPC will be hosting its seventh annual Capitol Hill Day on June 22, 1999, at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC.
In 1998, IPC and its members lobbied extensively for congressional support of the Printed Circuit Investment Act. If passed, this measure would have reduced the current depreciation schedule for capital equipment used in the printed wiring board (PWB) and electronics assembly industries to three years from five.
Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL-8) introduced the Printed Circuit Investment Act into the House in November 1997, and Sen. Connie Mack (R-FL) introduced the Senate companion in June 1998. By the end of 1998, 55 representatives co-sponsored the House version of the Act, while nine senators co-sponsored the Senate bill.
Unfortunately, the Act never became law. "A bill of this nature is usually passed as part of an omnibus tax bill, something Congress did not consider in 1998", says IPC Director of Public Policy Christopher Rhodes. "The Printed Circuit Investment Act is probably too small to be made into law on its own, but if it is included as part of a general tax bill, its chances are much better."
The next step in the process to get a three-year depreciation schedule adopted is to get the Printed Circuit Investment Act reintroduced into both the Senate and House. Rhodes says members of both the House and Senate have indicated interest in reintroducing the bill. Next, the industry will work to get past supporters to again co-sponsor. Many congressional representatives have already pledged support for the bill. After that, the lobbying to gather support from other representatives and senators begins. IPC's Capitol Hill Day provides the industry with an excellent opportunity to do this.
Less than a day after last year's Capitol Hill Day, a dozen representatives and one senator signed on to co-sponsor the Act (the number of senators co-sponsoring the bill probably would have been higher had the Senate version been introduced earlier in the year). These results show that Capitol Hill Day is effective, and it is important for the industry to come out and lobby their legislators.
Industry support for the three-year depreciation schedule may be more important now than ever, according to IPC President Thom Dammrich. Dammrich says the current global economic slump has driven down PWB and assembly margins, leaving even less money for US PWB and electronics assembly companies to reinvest. "A three-year depreciation schedule will allow US companies to reinvest in their manufacturing infrastructure and remain competitive with overseas companies that take advantage of shorter depreciation schedules, which allows them to modernize and expand capacity at the expense of American companies and workers", says Dammrich.
For information on how to become involved with IPC's Capitol Hill Day, contact Christopher Rhodes at +1 (847) 790 5306, or e-mail ChristopherRhodes@ipc.org