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NRF urges house to renew store remodelling legislation
May '08
The National Retail Federation urged the House to pass legislation that would extend a four-year-old law that has made it easier for retailers to remodel some of their stores, saying the help is needed more than ever in the current economy and needs to be expanded to all stores.

“Retailers generally remodel their stores every five to seven years in order to maintain customer interest and to compete with newer stores,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations Steve Pfister said. “In the current economic climate, some retailers look at remodeling as a way to revitalize a failing store, but the anticipated return has to pay for the costs involved. When the costs must be written off over nearly four decades, it is much more difficult to make the decision to remodel.”

Pfister's comments came in a letter to members of the House, which is scheduled to vote on H.R. 6049, the Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008. Sponsored by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the bill would retroactively renew about three dozen tax provisions that expired at the end of 2007, along with a number of energy-related tax incentives scheduled to expire at the end of 2008.

Of key interest to retailers is a provision first passed in 2004 that allows retailers who lease their stores to depreciate remodeling and other improvements over 15 years rather than the previous 39 years, resulting in a significant tax savings that makes the work more economically feasible. The provision expired December 31, 2007, but the Rangel legislation would renew it retroactively and extend it through December 31, 2008.

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