Congress is moving quickly to develop legislation aimed at preserving American jobs and reducing unemployment. In fact, the House hopes to craft a bill by Christmas. With the Architecture Billing Index maintaining a negative score, indicating a reduction in demand for design services and architecture firms everywhere suffering the effects of the ongoing economic crisis, we need your help to ensure that this potential legislation is developed with provisions that work for architects.
The AIA has provided Congress with recommendations for policies that will bring about short- and long-term recovery to our economy and lay the groundwork for more vibrant and sustainable communities. Our plan is available at http://www.aia.org/rebuildandrenew. The design and construction industry is one of the cornerstones of our economy, accounting for one in ten dollars of gross domestic product and millions of well-paying jobs. As Congress works to produce legislation to stimulate job creation, we believe the best way to achieve this is to foster growth is through investments in our nation's infrastructure and expanding access to credit, especially for our nation's small businesses.
Congress can pursue these goals by adopting a few key proposals to:
- Provide $11 billion for the modernization, renovation, and repair of our nation's schools
- Allow the SBA to provide reduced loan fees and larger guarantees for its 504 and 7(a) programs and increasing lending limits for the 504 program
- Enact the Small Business Financing and Investment Act (HR 3854)
- Expand the authority of the Treasury Department to provide funding of new commercial and institutional real estate loans for worth, solidly underwritten projects that will create jobs, and revitalize communities.
- Increase the value of the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction to $3.00 per square foot from its current $1.80 per square foot.
Congress will debate this bill in the coming weeks. You can help make sure that the plan helps the design and construction industry get back to work. Please ask your member of Congress to support these important provisions. Click here to connect with the AIA Advocacy Center.
Executive Vice President and CEO, AIA National