The biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years is heading to the president’s desk after the House gave final approval earlier today, giving the White House a major legislative victory.
Overnight, the Senate approved the bill that slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent on a party line 51-48 vote. The bill also boosts the standard individual deduction and restructures taxes for pass-through businesses. It lowers most tax brackets, dropping the top rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent. The U.S. House approved the bill twice after Democrats forced a re-vote today over procedural issues.
President Donald Trump said the bill’s passage means America is “back to winning.”
“I promised the American people a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas. With final passage of this legislation, that is exactly what they are getting,” Trump said. “I would like to thank the members of Congress who supported this historic bill, which represents an extraordinary victory for American families, workers, and businesses.”
The bill includes several provisions sought by the HVAC construction industry, and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute cheered its approval.
“This is an historic moment for HVAC contractors,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA’s president and CEO. “We fought for the past year to ensure that HVAC contractors would benefit from any tax reform legislation that was being considered in Congress. Today, we know that their tax rates are going to be lower and ACCA is proud to have led that fight on behalf of the contracting industry.”
Among the provisions that will especially benefit contractors include allowing immediate expensing of HVAC market equipment after purchase, a reduction in taxes for pass-through businesses and a doubling of the estate tax exemption until 2026, ACCA officials said.
AHRI President-CEO Stephen Yurek said the bill makes American industry more competitive.
"Our member manufacturers strongly support Congress' efforts to simplify the tax code and reduce rates," Yurek said. "AHRI applauds the inclusion of 100 percent bonus depreciation for business purchase of HVACR equipment, a permanent reduction in the corporate rate to 21 percent rate beginning next year, a reduced rate for pass-through entities, repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax, increased Section 179 expensing for small businesses, and the doubling of the estate tax exemption – all of which will serve to make the U.S. a more competitive place to do business.”
Democrats were united in opposition to the bill, saying that most of the benefits will go to the highest income earners. The public so far as not embraced the legislation, either. A recent CNN poll said 55 percent of Americans oppose the bill.