ARLINGTON, Va. - The ACCA and ABC recently announced their support for President Bush's economic stimulus package.

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America and Associated Builders and Contractors recently announced their support for President Bush's economic stimulus package, saying its tax provisions will help contractors significantly reduce their taxes.

Included in the White House proposal is a permanent increase in the amount businesses are allowed to expense on capital equipment, up to $75,000 from the current cap of $25,000.

"President Bush has recognized that small businesses, including hvacr contractors, are being squeezed from all sides right now," said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. "Under this plan, contractors will be able to write off a significantly higher amount of money spent on new equipment and technology purchases."

The proposal would also index the $75,000 expensing allowance in 2004, so it would rise with inflation each year. Currently, this deduction is available on equipment purchases of up to $200,000. Under the Bush plan, the allowance would be available for equipment costing up to $325,000.

ACCA officials said Congress should accept the president's proposals and include the increase to $75,000 in any final stimulus package. "This provision means real money in the pockets of small contractors and their employees all over the country," Stalknecht said. "We applaud President Bush for including this proposal in his package. It will have a tremendous impact, but it needs to happen soon."

ABC President and CEO Kirk Pickerel also expressed optimism the Bush package would boost the sagging construction market.

"Experts are predicting a mild slowdown in the U.S. construction economy during 2003," said Pickerel. "The president's economic stimulus plan can help by encouraging individuals to spend and by enabling small businesses to invest in the future, stimulating job growth."