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Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
December 2017 


300+ Attend 2017 December Public Officials Reception 


The Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce held its annual December Public Officials Reception last week to recognize the public and private sector leaders that are contributing to our region's continued economic and quality of life improvements. More than 300 people attended the reception, which was held at the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh.

The progress made in 2017 on issues important to southwestern Pennsylvania’s competitiveness, economic climate and quality of life would not be possible without the hard work and collaborative spirit of our many committed public and private sector partners.

To view a gallery of photos from the event, please click here

Congress Passes Federal Tax Reform Bill 


The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted to pass the final version of federal tax reform legislation this week. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Trump shortly. 

The Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce worked to influence provisions in the legislation as a member of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) - a 40 member group of chambers across that Great Lakes region that works to advance economic development and growth. The GLMCC supports tax reform legislation that lowers the corporate tax rate to a level that will enable U.S. businesses to compete successfully in the global economy, attract foreign investment to the United States, increase capital for investment, and drive job creation in the United States. 

The GLMCC's tax priorities, along with their status in the final version of the bill (in red), are as follows:
  • Reducing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and rough equivalency for passthrough entities
    Corporate tax rate is 21 percent beginning 1/1/18 
     
  • Immediate expensing of investment
    Full and immediate 100 percent expensing after 9/27/17 and before 1/1/23; phasing down thereafter

     
  • Extension of the R&D Tax Credit
    Retains R&D Tax Credit, however companies must write off their R&D investments over five or more years instead of in a single year.

     
  • Extension of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC)
    Retains the 2018 and 2019 annual allocation rounds at $3.5 billion each

    New Markets Tax Credits in the Great Lakes states have leveraged investment levels which are often more than double the value of the tax credit. They have been used to attract private investment in projects throughout the Great Lakes region. 
  • Extension of the Historic Tax Credit (HTC) at the 20 percent level
    Retains the HTC as modified by the Senate bill. Investors would claim the HTC over five years instead of at placed in service as current law, subject to transition rules. The final bill repeals the non-historic rehabilitation tax credit for non-residential pre-1936 properties, subject to transition rules.

    Historic Tax Credit is extremely important to revitalizing Great Lakes communities while maintaining the historic integrity of buildings which attract visitors to the region. Historic Tax Credit renovations mean construction jobs which create spaces where additional job creation takes place. 
     
  • Continuation of full state and local tax deduction
    Up to $10,000 deduction for total of (a) state and local property tax and (b) state and local income or sales tax until end of 2025

    GLMCC supports retaining the full state and local tax deduction with no changes.
     
  • Extension of private activity bonds
    Tax exemption for private activity bonds is retained in the final bill

    These bonds work in conjunction with the 4 percent tax credit provided under the federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program to support affordable housing developments that would otherwise not occur. Many Great Lakes cities are utilizing these bonds to redevelop their urban cores and to build affordable developments.
The GLMCC represents communities which are in the process of increasing employment, developing new businesses and growing existing businesses. The GLMCC’s position on tax policy is based on its desire to continue to grow the Great Lakes region.

If you would like additional information, please do no hesitate to contact Matt Smith or Brandon Mendoza at the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. 

A Conversation About America’s Energy Portfolio with FERC Commissioner Robert Powelson


The Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce hosted Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Commissioner  Robert Powelson for an event on November 20, 2017. Commissioner Powelson offered his perspective on the state of America’s energy portfolio today and the outlook for the future.

We appreciate Commissioner Powelson taking the time to speak on issues of regional concern and look forward to continuing our strong partnership with him to improve the economy and quality of life in the 10-county Pittsburgh region.

Click here to view photos from the event. 
 

December First Friday: Regional Policy Panel with Commissioners Maggi, Geyer and Hess 


Our December First Friday event featured a regional policy panel with Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi, Butler County Commissioner Kim Geyer and Indiana County Commissioner Sherene Hess. We thank the commissioners for joining us to provide updates on recent events in their counties and insights into what’s next for the region. 

To view photos from the event, click here

Our First Friday events will resume on Friday, February 8, 2018. Please keep a look-out for more information in the coming weeks. 

Our First Friday series, presented by the Port of Pittsburgh Commsion, brings together the region's private sector and public affairs community to engage with elected and other public officials on issues that are important to the region's economy and quality of life.

On behalf of the entire Chamber team, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

Greater Pittsburgh Chamber is an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference | AlleghenyConference.org
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