Trump Administration Proposes Eliminating Moving Expense Deduction

In early May, the Trump Administration released a broad tax reform outline that called for the dramatic reduction of corporate tax rates, reform to personal tax brackets, and the elimination of nearly every tax deduction utilized by American households, including the Moving Expense Tax Deduction. As a vital incentive for consumers of our industry, AMSA is working hard to preserve the deduction by meeting with Members of Congress to advocate for the deduction’s retention in any forthcoming tax reform package. We have reports that House lawmakers on the Ways and Means Committee are working to finish their version of a tax overhaul proposal this summer, although there is growing disagreement among members as to whether any tax savings will be used to fund a forthcoming infrastructure package. AMSA’s government affairs team is closely monitoring these developments to ensure we are well-positioned to advocate for our industry priorities in either draft. We have also partnered with the Employment Relocation Council (ERC) to update a detailed study on the deduction’s impact to taxpayers and businesses.

American Moving and Storage Association / Government Affairs ALERT

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On May 1, 2017, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and co-sponsor Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced S. 998, The Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act. AMSA was instrumental in the development of this bill and will be working with the Senators to get it passed through Congress. But we need your voice to let Congress know this issue matters to Americans!

This bill will protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of consumers who make international moves. PII can include passport information, Social Security numbers, residential addresses, and other sensitive information contained in a bill-of-lading. When an international move occurs, PII is included in the vessel manifest which is compiled by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under current practice, CBP often sells this information to data brokers and other public entities for marketing purposes. Sharing this information with less secure public entities can lead to fraud, robbery, and identity theft. Innocent Americans victimized by these breaches often include military and government employees returning from overseas duty.

This bill prohibits the CBP from releasing PII to the public while still permitting the Agency to collect the data for security purposes. If enacted into law, will be a huge win for the moving and storage industry and the American families we live to serve.

Please write your senators to ask that they support this important common-sense bill by visiting the TAKE ACTION NOW page!

CARB Roundup for 2015 and Forecast for 2016 By Sean Edgar, CleanFleets.net, CMSA Affiliate Member

California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations continued to affect the moving and storage industry in 2015. As 2016 approaches, new challenges are on the horizon. This article provides an end of year checklist for movers and forthcoming regulations: Truck and Bus Regulation: Fleets that “phased-in” compliance for their heavy trucks must meet a 100% filter requirement on 1/1/2016 unless reported credits extend that date. For lighter trucks, nearly all 1997 and older model year trucks (i.e. 1996 engines) must be replaced unless mileage tracking and reporting to CARB is accomplished under the low use exemption. Federal auditing will affect the van lines as USEPA is teaming up with CARB to conduct fleet audits and enforcement. A Virginia interstate carrier recently paid over $390,000 for missing filter deadlines and failing to verify the CARB compliance of trucks they hired; Opacity Testing: All diesel truck owners of two or more trucks greater than 6,000 lbs GVWR must have the opacity test or state Smog Check inspection performed to cover the December 31 compliance deadline. Make sure you have an opacity test result for each truck and CleanFleets performs this testing should it not be completed yet during 2015. Flat Floor Trailers (53-feet and longer): CARB received federal approval in 2013 for this regulation. Both the trailer and the tractor that pulls it on California roads must meet the aerodynamic requirements by adding Smartway approved aerodynamic devices and/or tires. Only fleets that applied to CARB back in 2011 or 2012 can be running a portion of their trailers non-compliant. Big enforcement expected in 2016; Propane Forklifts and Sweeper: The little known Large Spark Ignition (LSI) Regulation affects owners of four or more propane or gasoline forklifts and sweepers. There were fleet average targets to meet between 2009-2013 and facilities that do not know if they met the targets may call us for advice. Keeping Documentation: Ensure that you have clear records of what you own, how much you use and make the CARBrequired disclosures when selling trucks; Sustainable Freight Strategy: In 2016, CARB and/or the South Coast AQMD will focus regulations on “freight facilities” (which includes warehouses) with the goals of identifying possible facility emissions caps based on distance to neighbors and number of truck trips. Sean Edgar testified for CARB to abandon this project because clean trucks are already mandated at all freight facilities. CleanFleets has already assisted dozens of CMSA members with these requirements. You may email Service@CleanFleets.net with any questions related to this article or call 916-520- 6040 Ext 102.

San Diego Members Donated Services to Village

CMSA members in San Diego have rolled up their sleeves to assist Operation Homefront Village, a nonprofit organization that provides transitional housing to military personnel and their families, relocate from Oceanside to Mission Viejo. Moving companies donated moving services for the organization from July through September. CMSA members who donated their services include Atlas Transfer & Storage Co., Covan WorldWide Moving, Ace Relocation Systems, Republic Moving & Storage and Priority Moving. Operation Homefront Village residents and staff had nothing but glowing reviews about their experience with CMSA members: “The movers have been amazing! It has been such a long day and they have been so positive and fast.” “The movers were great! Professional and quick.” “The movers were here bright and early, and they were great throughout the entire day.” Operation Homefront Village provides transitional housing to wounded or ill military members leaving the service and their families. In addition to providing free rent, utilities and furnishings, the organization also offers financial planning, employment coaching and a support network for service members and their families to lean on in hard times.