Tax Expensing Legislation Supported by SIA


A bill that would provide 100-percent expensing on qualified security devices with no caps on expense amounts and was introduced into Congress in March is receiving full support by the Security Industry Association (SIA).

The bill, H.R. 1259, also known as the Public Safety and Protection Investment Act of 2003, was introduced to Congress by U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL) and Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY). It is almost identical to the former H.R. 2970, also introduced by Weller in late September 2001.

H.R. 2970 didn’t die. It lasted for the entire Congress, a 2-year lifespan, but was put aside when President Bush’s economic stimulus package was passed into law in early 2002. That package includes a 30-percent bonus depreciation for any asset, included security equipment.

“We had a partial victory with that bill but 100 percent is what is needed,” says Ben Fallon, spokesperson for Weller’s office. “H.R. 1259 would ensure that businesses would be in the position to harden their facilities and systems in a bottom-line friendly way.”

Security devices that qualify under H.R. 1259 are: an electronic access control device or system; biometric identification or verification device or system; CCTV or other surveillance and security cameras; locks for doors and windows, including keys and numerical or other devices; computers and software used to combat cyber terrorism; electronic alarm systems to provide detection, notification and other alerts for unauthorized entry; asset tracking systems; and components, wiring, and systems displays equipment.

SIA Executive Director Richard Chace says, “This is not just about homeland security and terrorists, it’s about safety, reducing losses and general crime. For businesses, it’s about efficiency and productivity.”

A committee that Weller is a member of and is responsible for 100 percent of all federal revenue is currently reviewing H.R. 1259, Fallon says. He adds that Weller and Crowley will be looking for a vehicle to attach the bill, making it more likely to be passed if packaged with other legislation.

“We’re looking at the government’s economic growth package or maybe increasing the 30 percent depreciation [in the economic stimulus package] to 100 percent,” he says. “We’re looking for various ways to accomplish the goals of this legislation.”

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