Architects: Senate tax reform proposal "shows marginal improvements."

WASHINGTON, D.C., - November 15, 2017 - The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today said it was disappointed by the Senate Finance Committee's proposal for reforming the tax code. As the Committee marks up its legislation this week, the AIA noted that the proposal, like its companion piece in the House,  still penalizes professional services companies, including architecture firms, organized as pass-through entities, in effect raising their taxes.

On a positive note, the Senate's proposal retains the Historic Tax Credit, although it severely curtails its utility. The current 10 percent credit for pre-1936 structures is repealed, while the current 20 percent credit for certified historic structures is halved, to just 10 percent. This is an improvement on the House Ways & Means Committee proposal, but would still have a deeply chilling effect on historic rehabilitation projects. The Senate bill also eliminates tax incentives for energy efficient buildings.

Please attribute the following statement to AIA 2017 President Thomas Vonier, FAIA:

"Congress still has  much to do if tax reforms are going to work for America's communities and the architects who serve them.  The Senate Finance Committee draft shows marginal improvements on the House Ways & Means Committee proposal from early November - for example, we're happy to see the Senate keep at least some of the Historic Tax Credits.  But their power to revitalize our decaying urban centers will be reduced greatly, just when they can produce such strong benefits.

"There are other real issues. Tax incentives for energy efficient design and construction are eliminated, despite a great record of producing buildings that are much cleaner and less expensive to operate.  Also, like the House proposal, the Senate draft excludes architects and other small business service professions from lowered tax rates - by name! There's just no good public policy reason for this, especially when the design and construction sector is such a strong catalyst for job growth.

"Our 92,000 members across the country are mobilized to make sure their Congressional delegations know these views. As the Senate Finance Committee marks-up its legislation, we want the amendment process to meet the three tests tax reform must achieve: growth for small businesses, fair treatment of all taxpayers, and sustainable, resilient buildings and communities."

About The American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit


John Schneidawind 

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