FIRE SPRINKLER LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE
Congressman Aaron Shock (IL-8) introduced the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act ( HR 1792) on May 5, 2011 with Congressman James Langevin (RI-02) serving as an original co-sponsor. The legislation was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The original measure was introduced in 2004 following the tragic nightclub fire in West Warwick, RI that claimed the lives of 100 victims. Since then, the legislation has been reintroduced in subsequent Congresses with various changes made to address concerns raised by members of Congress regarding cost estimates.
Under the legislation introduced by Rep. Shock, automatic sprinklers could be treated as Section 179 property under the tax code. Section 179 allows small and medium sized businesses to write-off the full cost of equipment purchases, up to $125,000, in a single year. While automatic fire sprinklers are not currently classified as a Section 179 property, passage of the legislation would allow property owners to retrofit a large majority of high fire-risk properties, such as certain off-campus housing, night clubs, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The legislation would also create a financial incentive for high-rise building owners to install sprinkler systems by reducing the depreciation schedule to 15 years. Currently the depreciation schedule is 39 years for commercial properties and 27.5 years for residential properties. This reduction will also put sprinkler improvements more in line with the current tax code that allows 15-year depreciation for leasehold improvements.
CFSI POSTS FIRE SERVICE DINNER SPEECHES
The Congressional Fire Services Institute has posted much of the National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner program on its Facebook page and Youtube Channel. This includes speeches by the leaders of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus and our awards presentations. Please visit our Facebook page or Youtube Channel and encourage your colleagues to do the same to learn about this exciting and unique program honoring our nation’s first responders.
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENATIVES IS IN RECESS THIS WEEK: Contact Your Members To Discuss Your Concerns
This week has been declared as a congressional work week by the House leadership. This time allows for members of Congress to return to their districts and meet with their constituents to hear their concerns and thoughts on issues being addressed in Washington, DC. For the fire service, this is an opportunity to discuss concerns about a broad array of issues, including the aforementioned fire sprinkler legislation, the recently-released FY2012 spending proposal for AFG/SAFER, legislation to set aside the D Block for public safety and other issues.
If you have any questions about public safety legislation pending before Congress, please visit our website at www.cfsi.org or contact us at email@example.com
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