The 2021 Legislative Session will begin on Monday, January 11. As usual, Gov. Kim Reynolds will conduct her Condition of the State on the following day where she will release her budget to the public. The final adjournment date is targeted for April 30, 2021, marking the 110th day of the calendar session. The 110-day goal is easily missed a lot of times, depending on rancor.
The MBI Government Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, November 24 and the MBI Board of Directors approved policy priorities on Thursday, December 17. These policy priorities provide the roadmap for MBI’s public affairs team in what we hope to achieve legislatively to make the construction and business climate in Iowa even more favorable to our members. This year, we will have a smaller, but more focused agenda centering around two major items and one additional standing principled item.
Construction Manager At-Risk Legislation
MBI will be introducing legislation that will allow the CMaR delivery for public owners, excluding the Department of Transportation. This legislation will mirror what was proposed last year that passed the Iowa Senate, but ultimately fell short of votes in the House. The proposal is a compromise between construction-related associations.
Sales Tax Exemption for Sister-Companies
MBI will be pursuing an exemption of sales tax for companies that lease or rent equipment to another of their sister companies. We believe this was an unintended consequence of previous legislation and are working with the Department of Revenue to fix this issue. For example, a simple risk-management strategy that businesses often use it to put all equipment under one LLC for liability purposes. The Department of Revenue is saying now that transactions involving leasing or renting equipment to another LLC under that same parent company, are subject to additional sales tax. Companies would be faced with paying sales tax on the purchase of the equipment, and also the leasing or rental transaction. We believe this would result in many instances of double taxation and are working to remedy the situation.
MBI has a long-standing principle of protecting precious RIIF (Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund) dollars. These are gambling revenue dollars used for public vertical infrastructure. We will continue to be judicious and watch closely how the Legislature plans to spend these dollars. The COVID crisis has certainly impacted gambling revenues, so it will be important we have a say.
As always, please get a hold of me directly if you have any questions or would like to share any perspective. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 515-314-9016.