Late last week, a controversial tax reform bill made its way past the first step toward legislation by passing a House vote 227-205. While Republican lawmakers cheered the passage, colleagues across the aisle cheered because this win now could actually have a significant impact on midterm elections. Regardless of where you stand politically, as an industry we must watch this bill closely as it moves to the Senate for input because it has the potential to reduce remodeling and renovation (R&R) spending, especially for door and window replacements.

Have your attention?

In its current form, the bill includes lowering the corporate tax rate, lowering mortgage interest deduction (MID), bars homeowners from deducting interest from second homes and it eliminates the deductibility of interest on home equity loans – a popular means for homeowners to make significant improvements to their homes.

I think most of us would welcome simplified and lower taxes, but we must be aware that, in this case, it will come at a cost to both homeowners and manufacturers. The WDMA has taken on the cause, expressing concern to Congress of the potential impact on the fenestration industry.

The bill still has a long way to go before it’s passed, but the GOP is pushing to have the bill on the president’s desk by the end of the year. The View from Here is that with so many special interest groups competing for their cause, it is difficult to say what changes are likely or if the tax reform bill will pass before the end of 2017.

We still have time to voice our opinions by reaching out to our senators if we feel so compelled. Remember: If we don’t advocate for our best interests, no one else will.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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