Jewelers of America Lobbies Lawmakers in Washington D.C.June 24, 14
The day of meetings offered jewelers an opportunity to share their views with key decision makers on the Hill including House Speaker John Boehner, who made an unscheduled visit with the group, and Senator Jack Reed, a member of the U.S. Senate Committees on Appropriations; Armed Services; and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
The meetings connected jewelers with approximately 60 lawmakers and legislative staff.
Discussion centered on sales tax fairness legislation, which would level the playing field between online and brick-and-mortar businesses. The group met with key supporters, including Reed, a co-sponsor of the Marketplace Fairness Act – which passed the Senate last year.
"During a lunch with House Republicans … the tone was decidedly in favor of pushing through a House sales tax fairness bill," the JA said in a statement.
“With the midterm elections approaching, this is a key moment for jewelers to be heard,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “Jewelers of America is actively engaged with lawmakers regarding the needs of jewelers, and bringing our members to Capitol Hill for these face-to-face meetings with their representatives truly gets the message across.”
In addition to Bonaparte, the group consisted of JA Director of Public Affairs & Education Susan Thea Posnock, and Jewelers of America members – including members of the JAPAC Board and JA’s Board of Directors – representing a variety of jewelry retail firms.
Besides e-fairnesss, discussions also centered on the protection of LIFO – the last-in, first-out accounting method. LIFO repeal is an attractive revenue raising option for some legislators and the Obama administration, which has repeatedly sought repeal.
Jewelers also discussed extension of the 15-year leasehold improvement depreciation. Currently improvements made to retail stores must be depreciated over 39 years. Jewelers of America supports inclusion of the 15-year depreciation provision in a retroactive tax extenders package, expected to be taken up by Congress after the November midterm elections. In the long-term, the association believes the provision should be made permanent as part of overall tax reform.