WDDA Pushes for Tax Credit Extension

November 1, 2010

The Window & Door Dealers Alliance is urging dealers to contact members of the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee and voice their support to extend window tax credits for 2011 and beyond. The “call to action” follows a meeting last week between WDDA representatives and members of Sens. Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Snowe's (R-Maine) staff.

The two Senators are pushing to include homeowner tax credits for energy efficient upgrades in the same tax legislation expected to be voted on before year-end, reports David Walker, WDDA vice president. The same tax legislation is likely to include total or partial extension of the Bush tax cuts scheduled to expire at year end.

“The senators’ staff members assured us that we have strong support in the U.S. Senate for extending the 25C tax credits for the window and door industry, though the exact amount of the credit is still being negotiated,” Walker also notes. They explained that the current tax bill in the Senate includes energy efficiency tax credit provisions, but the House version does not, he continues. “That's why the Ways & Means Committee members, who are integral in shaping the bill, need to hear from us immediately.”

Premier Windows' David Sakin, right, at meeting with Patrick Woodcock, an aide to Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), left.

Meeting with Senate Staffers
WDDA representatives met with staff from Sen. Bingamon and Sen. Snowe's last week following a WDDA letter to the senators applauding their bill, but asking that a larger tax credit be retained.  At the meeting, David Steele of the Window & Door Gallery in Augusta, Ga., urged the Congressional staffers to increase the maximum amount for a window tax credit up to $1,500 from $200 in the draft bill. “Our members know what it takes to encourage the public to act,” he states."It is our experience and opinion that a $200 cap won’t motivate consumers to invest in energy conservation projects.”

“I wanted the staffers to realize the timely importance of having 25C extended or rewritten as soon as possible,” says David Sakin of Premier Window & Building of Owings Mills, Md., another WDDA participant. “Going into December and January without a tax credit in place could mean huge layoffs and the closing of some businesses.”

The staffers were receptive to this message, but they also explained the challenge they face because of the cost to the government of such a tax credit, Sakin continues. They asked for anecdotal information on the numbers of jobs created by the window tax credit, something which WDDA is now urging dealers and manufacturers to provide in their letters supporting such legislation. “After the meeting, I did an informal study with the manufacturers I deal with and other dealers like myself,” Sakin reports."We came to the conclusion that every billion dollars in tax credits creates about 6,000 manufacturing jobs; as well as the creation of 40,000 jobs in sales, marketing, administration, and installation.”

“There’s much uncertainty about what may happen in Congress over the next few months following elections, but there is a lot of support in Congress for energy efficiency tax credits,” WDDA’s Walker concludes. “We remain optimistic that something can happen before the current tax credits expire.”

“There is no doubt we have a lot of work to do, in a very short time,” says Beth Cantrell of Better Windows by Beth in Chantilly, Va., another WDDA representative attending the Congressional meeting. Urging dealers and manufacturers to support the organization’s campaign to contact House committee members, she adds, “This is going to be a tough uphill battle.”