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The National Restaurant Association (NRA) applauded Senators Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) for introducing legislation (S. 749) to make permanent a 15-year tax depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction, leasehold improvements, and retail improvements.
Under the bipartisan bill, restaurateurs, their landlords, and other commercial-property owners could write off the cost of improvements to property, as well as the cost of new construction for restaurants, over 15 years, which is more in line with marketplace reality than 39 years.
The current 15-year schedule for these investments is set to expire at the end of 2013.
“Restaurants experience heavy wear and tear serving 130 million guests a day at nearly one million establishments nationwide,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president, policy and government affair.
“Making the 15-year depreciation provisions permanent provides restaurant operators with the predictability needed to plan for future investments, and we commend Senators Casey and Cornyn for their leadership on this critical issue for our industry.”
NRA research shows that restaurants undergo significant renovations every six to eight years, on average.
DeFife adds that the measure would help create jobs beyond the restaurant industry, as construction spending has a significant ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy.
The industry spent $6.1 billion on new construction in 2011, adding approximately 172,000 jobs to the economy.
The quicker depreciation schedules would apply to new restaurant construction, as well as investments in property such as interior walls, wiring, partitions, plumbing, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems in restaurants, offices, and other commercial space.
The NRA is a leader of the Depreciation Fairness Coalition, a group of restaurants, trade associations, and other organizations that support permanent extension of the 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction, leasehold improvements, and retail improvements.