Metalcasters took to Capitol Hill to urge policymakers to include full expensing of capital equipment to its tax reform packages.

engineering and work practice controls are not able to limit exposures to the new permissible level and action level. Metalcasters have argued OSHA failed to include costs to shut down a foundry for installation and underesti- mated costs for ventilation, dust collec- tors, professional cleaning, and vacuums. Most of the data OSHA relied on

for its study was from foundry inspec- tions dating back to the 1990s. Many of the foundries cited have since gone out of business. OSHA’s final cost of the silica rule

for the foundry industry is $47 million ($38,000 for the typical foundry). An independent analysis initiated by AFS calculates the cost to be more than $2.2 billion annually. Tis would rep- resent 9.9% of the foundry industry’s revenue and 276% of its profits. At the Fly-In, metalcasters

requested lawmakers to contact Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and urge him to delay, reopen, revise or nullify the silica rule.

Comprehensive Tax Reform

Te last major overhaul of the U.S. tax code was in 1986. With a com- bined (state and local) corporate tax rate that tops 39%, manufacturers in the United States face the highest cor- porate statutory tax rate among the 34 industrialized nations of the Organisa- tion for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Te average

20 | MODERN CASTING July 2017

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure a D+ grade and says investments in repairs to roads, bridges, dams, and airports are needed.

OECD nation’s tax rate is 25%. Meanwhile, tax rates for manufac-

turers organized as pass-throughs are in some cases even higher and can hit almost 50%. In July, U.S. metalcasters urged

for the following key elements in tax reform: • Lower Tax Rates for Businesses of All Sizes.

• Repeal of the Estate Tax. For capital-intensive, family-owned foundries, the estate tax is particu- larly problematic.

• Protection of LIFO. This inventory accounting method has been recognized in the U.S. tax code for more than 70 years. If LIFO is repealed, the penalty to foundries that used LIFO could extend decades into the past, forcing companies to pay off the “reserve” to which they had legally been entitled.

• Strengthened R&D Incentive. Strengthening the R&D incentive by increasing the alternative simpli- fied credit formula from 14 to 20% would make it easier for companies of all sizes to use the R&D credit, fueling more research investment.

• Full Expensing of Capital Equip- ment.Moving to a system of full expensing would enable foundries to deduct the entire cost of capital expenses (such as machines and equipment) up front, rather than

having to spread the deduction out over several years.

Water Infrastructure

Te American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s drinking water a D in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. According to a study by the American Water Works Asso- ciation, repairing the nation’s water infrastructure is estimated to cost $1 trillion over the next 25 years. Te majority of the burden of upgrading the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure falls on the public sector, as approximately 85% of water systems are municipal-owned. Congress will be considering

infrastructure legislation that may provide additional critical investment in water infrastructure. Te EPA’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund does NOT include the Buy American provisions for Iron and Steel. Metalcasters on Capitol Hill

urged lawmakers to include in the FY18 appropriations bill or infra- structure package: • A permanent “American Iron and Steel” Requirement in the Drink- ing Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) for iron and steel prod- ucts that are produced in the U.S.

• Removal of the cap on tax-exempt private activity bonds for water and wastewater infrastructure.

• Full funding for the state revolving

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