National Lumber and Building Material Dealer (NLBMDA) chair Dan Fesler, chief executive officer of Lamperts in St. Paul, Minn., urged the U.S. House of Representatives small business committee to extend bonus depreciation for one year during a hearing held yesterday.

Fesler advised the committee that bonus depreciation has helped his business and small businesses in general.

“One way to help lumber and building material dealers and many businesses out of their current economic difficulties would be to extend the bonus depreciation for one year,” said Fesler. “Without bonus depreciation, we hold and use equipment longer, and we delay the cost of investment in newer and better equipment. Giving a company the ability to write things off as they age and before they become obsolete would encourage the purchase of newer equipment on a more frequent basis and would assist in stimulating the economy and providing more jobs for companies selling these types of products and equipment to businesses such as Lamperts.”

He pointed out that bonus depreciation allows businesses to recover the costs of certain capital expenditures more quickly than under ordinary tax depreciation schedules. Additionally, businesses can use bonus depreciation to immediately write off 50 percent of the cost of depreciable property. The measure would allow businesses, to write off more of the cost of equipment and machinery purchases more quickly than allowed under current law.

Bonus depreciation language wasn’t included in the version of the small-business legislation that passed the House in June. The companion bill pending in the Senate, H.R. 5297, includes a provision to allow bonus depreciation in 2010 and will likely be voted on in the next couple of weeks.

Eighteen House members joined the push for bonus depreciation by writing to Ways and Means Committee chair Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich. in a letter last week urging them to include the bonus depreciation provision in a final package of small-business tax incentives that could be negotiated with the Senate later this month, according to the NLBMDA.

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