Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008 - (Page 8)

Kendrick congressman r 8 ENGINEERING INC. Leads Charge Against the Onerous 3% Withholding ep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) is the lead sponsor of the ACEC-backed House bill to repeal the 3 percent withholding provision, an unfair federal mandate poised to affect virtually every Member Firm. The mandate stipulates that federal and state agencies, as well as some larger local governments, must withhold 3 percent from payments for contracted goods and services, including major design and construction projects. Defeat of the measure is one of the Council’s top legislative priorities. The Florida lawmaker, who also is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has garnered substantial bipartisan support for his bill. In an exclusive interview with ACEC, Meek discusses the motivation behind the repeal effort, the importance of ACEC’s support and his prediction for the bill’s future. ACEC PRESIDENT DAVE RAYMOND: We want to thank you for your leadership in the important effort to repeal the onerous 3 percent withholding mandate that is scheduled to go into effect in 2011. How did you become involved in the repeal effort? REP. KENDRICK MEEK: It started when a Miami-Dade County commissioner, my friend Sally Heyman, came JULY / AUGUST 2008 meeK to my office to talk to me about it and pointed out how a lot of small businesses would be hurt by this. We started to do the research and, after meeting with ACEC and some of your members, it became very evident to me that while this was something that was probably initiated to help the IRS capture tax dollars that weren’t being paid, it actually did more damage to the small business community. It also created an unfunded mandate for local and state governments and even the federal government. In fact, it’s going to cost the Department of Defense billions of dollars just to be able to track and pull these dollars in and channel them to the IRS. I am sure there are other ways that it can be done. It was something that wasn’t even considered by the committee before it went into legislation. ACEC CHAIRMAN JOHN HENNESSY: The issue has generated much concern, not just from engineering firms, but other industries and small businesses as well, and even local governments. Have you found the impact to be so widespread, and what do your constituents in Florida think about it? MEEK: They think it’s great that we have taken on this challenge. It would have a big impact on small businesses in Florida, and small businesses throughout the nation, along with engineers and other services that contract with government. Those kinds of businesses can often have such a small profit margin that they really need those dollars to help pay the next month’s payroll. To have that taken away at the beginning of a contract with a government entity can negatively impact the health of a small business and overall business in general. Those business owners are generally law-abiding taxpaying citizens. It’s only a very small percentage who aren’t doing what they are supposed to do regarding taxes. Garry Landsman

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008
2009 EEA Call for Entries
Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Congressman Kendrick Meek
Going Global
2008 Professional Liability Insurance Survey
Institute for Business Management 2008 Fall Course Catalog
Bridging the Gap
2008 Convention Wrap Up
2008-2009 Executive Committee
2008 Fall Conference Primer
Business Insights
Members in the News
One on One

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008