October 14, 2013
Mechanical contractors ask for tax breaks
The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) plans to continue to press Ottawa for tax breaks to accelerate energy efficiency investments in the commercial building sector, says retiring association chair Brad Diggens of Calgary.
“As it turned out, the 2013 (federal) budget was shy of new spending or new tax expenditures due to the deficit position, economic situation and the government’s determination to balance the budget by 2015,” he said in a report to the association’s annual general meeting Sept. 27.
“Therefore, this (proposed) reform was not included in the 2013 budget.
However, the Building Energy Efficiency Coalition and MCA Canada will continue to seek changes in upcoming federal budgets.”
The board of the association, which represents close to 1,000 companies across Canada, last November voted in favour of joining the coalition, set up to lobby for amendments to Income Tax Act regulations.
The coalition is seeking “a modest expansion” in the equipment included in CCA Class 43.2 —specifically inclusion of certain additional heat recovery ventilators and active solar equipment, as well as certain high-efficiency heating equipment and high-efficiency chillers.
Introduced in 2005, this class, in Schedule II of regulations under the Income Tax Act, provides for accelerated capital cost allowances for specified clean energy generation equipment.
The coalition believes that in most cases, the revised tax treatment of the energy efficiency retrofit investments will increase government revenue.
Other coalition members include the Canadian Construction Association, Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada, Thermal Insulation Association of Canada, and the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating.
Diggens, president of MJS Mechanical Ltd., said coalition representatives met last February with senior officials in the Finance Department and Natural Resources Canada to outline their recommendations for tax reform, just before the federal budget was introduced.
The MCAC’s 72nd annual national conference was held Sept. 25 to 28.
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