Masonry Position Papers

3% Government Withholding Tax

Issue

The 3% Government Withholding Tax applies to the total contract, not to the net revenue generated from the project which unfairly penalizes construction contractors.

Position

The masonry industry opposed the 3% withholding tax and supported bills to repeal this requirement. President Obama signed the bill into law on November 21, 2011 and it became Public Law 112-056, repealing the 3% withholding requirement once and for all.

Learn more about 3% Government Withholding Tax


Alternative Minimum Tax

Issue

Although the AMT has historically applied to few taxpayers, the tax will grow rapidly over the next decade under current law.

Position

The masonry industry supports repeal of the AMT or appropriate indexing of the AMT to its original date of enactment or the date of enactment of a new AMT bill.

Learn more about Alternative Minimum Tax


America’s Affordable Health Choices Act

Issue

There remain a number of concerns to the legislation as drafted that would have severe impacts on families, small businesses, and individual”s current health insurance coverage.

Position

The MCAA strongly opposes this legislation and asks member firms to contact their representatives today and express their opposition to the bill.

Learn more about America’s Affordable Health Choices Act


Bid Shopping

Issue

Bid shopping is a questionable practice that takes place when a general contractor attempts to pad his profit margin for shopping for lower-priced subcontractors than those listed in the original bid.

Position

The masonry industry believes it is time to end deceptive practices that cheat the taxpayer and supports legislation requiring general contractors bidding on federal projects to list the subcontractors and their bids, and justify any subsequent changes.

Learn more about Bid Shopping


Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Issue

The construction industry faces a growing problem of a shortage of skilled labor; some of this insufficiency is being addressed by the immigrant workforce.

Position

The masonry industry supports a comprehensive reform including provisions to secure our nation's borders and a temporary guest worker program that meets the demand for labor and a process for addressing the undocumented currently employed in the U.S.

Learn more about Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Letters to Congress

H-2B Classification letter to Representative Tim Walberg; Representative Joe Courtney
E-Verify employment verification system letter to Representative Trey Gowdy
Immigration Reform; Social Security No-Match Rule letter to Member of Congress
Immigration Reform letter to Members of Congress


Concrete Masonry Checkoff (H.R. 985)

Issue

The Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education and Promotion Act of 2015 (H.R.985), would provide congressional authorization to allow concrete block manufacturers the opportunity to create a commodity check-off program.

Position

The MCAA supports H.R. 985 and urges Congress to pass the legislation to help this industry by enabling it to effectively invest in itself (without government financial assistance), reinvigorate the economy and expand American jobs.

Learn more about Concrete Masonry Checkoff (H.R. 985)


Crystalline Silica

Issue

OSHA continues to designate issuing a workplace crystalline silica regulation as a top agency priority at a time when silica Personal Exposure Limits (PELS) are already in place.

Position

The masonry industry urges Congress to ensure that OSHA's regulatory focus is not swayed by bad science on the matter of workplace exposure to crystalline silica.

Learn more about Crystalline Silica

Letters to Congress

Support Senator Hoeven’s Amendment to Suspend the Silica Rulemaking letter to Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee
Notice of Intention to Appear at Informal Public Hearing letter to The Honorable David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH
Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica letter to William Perry, Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance
Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica letter to Jeff Buczkiewicz, President, MCAA
Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica letter to The Honorable David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH


Estate Tax

Issue

Businesses, both large corporations and small family owned businesses, which employ the majority of the American workers, deserve a realistic and reasonable chance of continuing in business after the estates of deceased owners are settled.

Position

The masonry industry supports permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, and urges the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to pass a permanent repeal of the estate tax.

Learn more about Estate Tax

Letters to Congress

Estate Tax letter to Senator John Thune
Estate Tax letter to Senator John Thune
Estate Tax letter to President George W. Bush


Estate Tax Rule Change

Issue

The proposed regulations eliminate or greatly reduce the discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability for “family related entities” and will discourage families from continuing to operate and build their family businesses.

Position

The masonry industry opposes the rule as the proposed regulations will harm the American economy.

Learn more about Estate Tax Rule Change


Military Construction (MilCon)

Issue

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), faced with limited funding for military construction (MilCon) and charged with staying abreast of a rapidly transforming military, is favoring low initial cost construction.

Position

The masonry industry urges Congress to direct the Armed Services to incorporate life cycle cost and other durability considerations heavily into design and construction protocols.

Learn more about Military Construction (MilCon)

Letters to Congress

Military Construction letter to Representative Neil Abercrombie


Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors

Issue

Some contractors in the construction industry are deliberately misclassifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid payroll taxes, insurance premiums and other employment expenses on order to boost company profits

Position

The masonry industry urges Members of Congress to support legislation which addresses this problem.

Learn more about Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors


National Energy Policy

Issue

Rapidly increasing oil prices are putting a huge strain on the U.S. industrial base, which in turn negatively affects the average consumer.

Position

The masonry industry favors a broad-based approach to national energy policy, ranging from the responsible development of traditional sources of energy to investment, development and support of new sources and renewable energy efficient technologies.

Learn more about National Energy Policy


Pension Reform

Issue

Multi-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans have become a crushing burden on those industries that are involved.

Position

The masonry industry supports reform that will allow for transition away from the Defined Benefit Plans, ultimately de-risking these plans by paying down the unfunded liabilities while transitioning to alternative type plans.

Learn more about Pension Reform


Rebounding the Highly Skilled Workforce

Issue

A spike in mason retirements in the next decade which will create a labor shortage. Insufficient numbers of new masons will not offset retirements, much less keep pace with demands for new houses, industrial facilities, schools, hospitals and offices.

Position

The masonry industry strongly encourages support of full budget allocations and appropriations for Perkins Act vocational and technical training programs, with special emphasis on investment in trades in greatest need for new workers.

Learn more about Rebounding the Highly Skilled Workforce


Regulation/Agency Rulemaking

Issue

House Republicans, specifically the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, spent much of 2011 attacking the federal agencies for their overbearing and unnecessary rulemaking and regulations.

Position

MCAA representatives have played a role in some of these committee hearings and this will continue to be a great opportunity for MCAA to testify on harmful DOL/OSHA regulations and rulemakings.

Learn more about Regulation/Agency Rulemaking

Letters to Congress

Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 letter to Congress
Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013 letter to Congress


School Construction

Issue

According to the National Center for Education and Statistics (NCES), “three-quarters of schools reported needing to spend some money on repairs, renovations, and modernizations to put the school's onsite building into overall good condition.”

Position

The masonry industry encourages Congress to pass legislation to address the need for updated and new infrastructure of America's public schools.

Learn more about School Construction


Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy

Issue

There is a critical need for the Office of Advocacy to be able to continue functioning as an independent government advocate for the small business community.

Position

The masonry industry supports the Office of Advocacy.

Learn more about Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy


Timber Innovation Act

Issue

The MCAA believes that Congress should not be providing federal funds to support an industry, especially an industry that has the resources to do this research on their own using their industry backed check-off program.

Position

The MCAA opposes S. 2892 and would ask Members of Congress to oppose this legislation as well.

Learn more about Timber Innovation Act


Workforce Development

Issue

The masonry industry aims to to engage students and parents to reduce the stigma associated with career and technical education.

Position

The masonry industry urges Congress moves to reauthorize the Perkins Act and include language to ensure better business engagement opportunities.

Learn more about Workforce Development