The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010. After the constitutionality of several provisions was challenged, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 28, 2012, that the ACA is constitutional. Despite several changes and delays, the bulk of the law took effect in 2014 and 2015.
Why does the ACA matter to rental? Several provisions of the ACA come with a hefty price tag and greatly affect equipment rental operators. For example, the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) costs employers up to $500 more per employee each year.
What's ARA doing about it? The ACA is the law of the land, and ARA continues to work to change the pieces of the law that have the greatest impact on the industry by developing bipartisan support for these legislative and regulatory fixes. Currently, ARA is focused on:
- Repeal or postpone the Health Insurance Tax (HIT). SUCCESS! On Dec. 19, 2019 legislation was passed by Congress that will fully repeal the HIT tax on Dec. 31, 2020. This tax cost employers up to $500 more per employee per year.
- Changing the 30-hour rule.
- Repealing the employer mandate.
- Seeking guidance/clarification on the 3.8% Net Income Investment Tax (NII).
We continue to monitor how the ACA is being enforced and how changes to the law will affect our members.
The tax system in the U.S. is cumbersome, unfair and overly complicated. That's why we've sought fundamental tax reform for years through policy initiatives and advocate in favor of both corporate and individual tax reform.
Why does tax policy matter to rental? Because the equipment rental industry is capital-intensive and lacks specialized tax breaks available to other industries, rental operations are very sensitive to changes in the tax code.
What's ARA doing about it? We promote pro-growth tax policies that benefit our members and members of industries that work in coalition with the equipment and event rental industry because when the economy is strong, rental operators can invest in their businesses. Investments grow businesses and benefit employees and the community by providing more jobs and local economic growth.
The ability to secure and maintain ongoing, abundant sources of energy is vital to every aspect of our civilization. Without energy, we can’t heat our homes, travel the globe or operate the equipment you rent to your customers every day.
Why does energy matter to rental? Energy exploration creates an enormous opportunity for equipment rental operations as more companies in the construction, agriculture and energy industries realize the economic advantages of renting versus buying. Larger energy reserves also mean lower prices and domestic energy production reduces imports while ensuring that we all can power our lives well into the future, which benefits all industries.
What’s ARA doing about it? Because new discoveries of shale gas, oil and other non-conventional energy sources create opportunities for our members and their businesses, we've joined the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) and actively support the Keystone XL pipeline project.
People are every business owner's most important asset because they're what propel businesses forward. They're also the largest expense for any business — making legislation and regulations surrounding how to manage those people a major concern.
Why does labor matter to rental? Because many equipment rental businesses are seasonal, rental operators can find themselves cycling through the process of recruiting, hiring, training, retaining and letting go of employees more quickly than some other industries. This cycle can be very costly, making labor laws and regulations that much more important to members.
What’s ARA doing about it? We fight to protect rental operators and their employees from unfair labor practices through our membership in the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW).
Other Legislative Issues
Over time, numerous laws and regulations have been put in place to protect employees, customers and business owners. It's to the point that keeping up with new regulations and changes — and the paperwork that goes along with them — can be a full-time job.
Why is it important to comply? Owners and managers must be cognizant of laws and regulations on the federal, state and local levels because a violation could lead to a hefty fine, lawsuit, or accident that damages or destroys your business.
What’s ARA doing to help? We have a dedicated government affairs team, including a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., to monitor legislation on the state and federal levels that may affect the equipment rental industry. ARA has already successfully fought several battles on behalf of the industry, and continues to look out for your best interests.
ARA works with active state associations. These associations are involved in a variety of legislative and regulatory issues that significantly impact the equipment and event rental industry.
What issues are state associations tackling? Property/inventory tax relief, equipment registration, theft of equipment rental services, inflatable regulations, ballasting and tented event regulations, lien laws and air quality regulations, among others. These groups are facilitated and coordinated through state associations, other members and ARA.
Get involved! Contact ARA to learn how it and its state associations are working together to make positive change for the rental community.