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NRCA Action Alert: Commercial Roof System Depreciation Reform Introduced in Congress

June 2014

New legislation has been introduced in Congress to reform the depreciation schedule for certain commercial roof systems to help unleash greater economic growth in the roofing industry. This bipartisan legislation will help create 40,000 new construction industry jobs, benefit millions of small businesses nationwide and advance energy efficiency in the commercial building sector. NRCA urges members to contact their senators and representative in Congress in support of this legislation to broaden its support and increase the chances for enactment into law.


Depreciation reform is needed because between 1981 and 1993, the depreciation schedule for all nonresidential property was increased from 15 to 39 years. However, according to an independent study commissioned by NRCA, the average life of most commercial roof systems is only 17 years. This causes building owners to delay the full replacement of older, failing roof systems in favor of limited, piecemeal repairs. Reforming the outdated 39-year depreciation schedule for commercial roof systems will remove an obstacle in the tax code to greater economic activity in the roofing industry.

To rectify this problem, Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) have introduced H.R. 4740 in the House and Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) have introduced S. 2388 in the Senate. These companion bills, if enacted, would create a new 20-year depreciation schedule for commercial roof system retrofits that meet requirements of ASHRAE 189.1—2011, "Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings."

Take Action Now

NRCA is actively supporting this legislation in Congress. However, it is critical lawmakers hear directly from constituents about the need for this reform legislation.

Contact your representative and/or senators now and communicate these points:

Dear Senator/Representative:

I urge you to support H.R. 4740 or S. 2388 by becoming a co-sponsor of this legislation. Establishing a new 20-year depreciation schedule for qualifying energy-efficient commercial roof systems in place of the outdated 39-year depreciation schedule will remove an obstacle in the tax code to economic growth in the roofing industry. This legislation will:
  • Help create 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers
  • Add $1 billion of taxable annual revenue in the construction sector
  • Make the tax code simpler and more equitable for small businesses of all types
  • Save small businesses millions of dollars in energy costs
Thank you for your consideration in supporting this reform legislation that will lead to greater job creation in our industry.


To email your representative, click here, find your representative's website, cut and paste the message above, and send via email.

If you don't know the name of your representative, you may find it at the link above by entering your ZIP code in the upper right-hand corner.

To email your senators, click here, find your senator's website, cut and paste the message, and send via email.

You also may contact your representative or senators by calling or visiting their district or state office. If you prefer to telephone your representative or senator, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121, ask for the office of your representative or senator, tell the staff you are calling in support of H.R. 4740 or S. 2388, and urge the representative or senator to co-sponsor the bill.

Please let NRCA's Washington, D.C., office know of your efforts by contacting Andrew Felz, NRCA's manager of federal affairs, at (202) 546-7584 or afelz@nrca.net.

Thank you for taking the time to contact your lawmakers. Remember, grassroots communication with members of Congress is critical to supplementing NRCA's efforts in Washington, D.C., on issues of importance to the roofing industry.

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