Congressmen Tom Reed (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, have joined to introduce the Roofing Efficiency Jobs Act of 2011 in House of Representatives today. The legislation will lower the depreciation period for commercial roofs to 20 years (instead of the current 39-year period). This corrects an inequity in the tax code by aligning the depreciation period closer to the 17-year average life span of a commercial roof. Such a change could create nearly 40,000 roofing manufacturing and construction jobs nationwide, according to a study by Ducker Worldwide.
"The green roofing bill will help American business owners with some overhead expenses by reducing the cost of what's over their heads," said Pascrell. "Our legislation simply puts the depreciation period of a commercial roof on par with its actual lifespan. We are also helping to foster the new green economy while creating jobs in an industry disproportionally hurt during this economic downturn. I want to thank Congressman Reed for his partnership on this legislation and I am proud of our solid bipartisan proposal to create jobs for Americans."
"This kind of bipartisan legislation is exactly what we need to focus on," Reed explained. "It is a win for roofing manufacturing and construction jobs, it is a win for businesses wishing to install more energy efficient roofing, and it is a win for the economy. I appreciate the long term work that Congressman Pascrell has done on this initiative and I am pleased that we can offer this bill together."
As part of the legislation, an existing roof system must be replaced with a commercial roof that meets benchmark energy efficiency ("cool roof") standards in order to qualify for the 20-year depreciation period. Accelerating the installation of cool roofs could reduce U.S. energy consumption by upwards of 11.4 trillion BTU per year and save small businesses and consumers millions of dollars in energy costs.
The Roofing Efficiency Jobs Act of 2011 will be assigned to the Committee on Ways and Means for consideration. Reed and Pascrell are both members of Ways and Means.