Dealer concerns highlighted at Small Business Legislative Council Fly-In 

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Government Relations Team recently participated in the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) fly-in in Washington to discuss small business issues impacting recreational boat dealers and potential regulatory hurdles in the future. Government Relations Director Mike Sayre and Government Relations Manager Chad Tokowicz discussed pressing issues impacting the organization and its members, including:

  1. The implementation of the Corporate Transparency Act;
  2. The small business benefits of the House-passed Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024;
  3. The risk of allowing a lapse in beneficial small business provisions within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“This was a great opportunity to get to know other members of the Small Business Legislative Council and share our own issues and concerns with other small business trade associations,” said Sayre. “The diversity of industries represented as well as the expertise brought together by the SBLC will be a great asset for the MRAA and its members going forward.”

The MRAA joined the SBLC in 2024 to increase its focus on issues impacting small businesses like taxes and regulatory requirements. The fly-in also builds stronger relations on Capitol Hill in advance of large-scale tax legislation that will be forthcoming in 2025. The Small Business Legislative Council established its top advocacy priorities for 2024:

  1. Support the repeal of the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) or, at the least, support modifications that ease the regulatory compliance burdens on small business.
  2. Support the passage of the 2024 tax bill entitled Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (H.R. 7024). Specifically, support for the business tax provisions of Title II of H.R. 7042, which provide for R&D benefits as well as extended bonus depreciation with increased limits on business expensing for certain assets.
  3. Support the tax working groups of Congress as they prepare for the expiring provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). Specifically, the SBLC supports the renewal of the Qualified Business Income Deduction (199A) and extensions of the provisions related to business succession planning (e.g., increased estate and gift tax limitations).

“Spending time on Capitol Hill with the SBLC ensures that lawmakers and their staff are getting input from a wide variety of industries on topics which ultimately impact our members as small businesses,” said Tokowicz. “With Section 199A small business deduction and lower pass-through rates set to sunset at the end of 2025, and the imminent deadline of CTA Compliance, the MRAA joined the SBLC at a perfect time to increase our focus on issues impacting dealers’ bottom line.”

The May 2024 fly-in of the SBLC to Washington, D.C., furthered SBLC and MRAA priorities by connecting with congressional offices and committee staff who have jurisdiction over the priority areas. Below is an overview of the meetings: 

  • Senate Small Business Committee – Meeting with staff for the Minority (R)
  • Senate Small Business Committee – Meeting with staff for the Majority (D)
  • Office of Senator Rick Scott (FL) – Meeting with Legislative Director and Staff
  • Office of the House Majority Leader – Meeting with Policy Director
  • Office of the Speaker of the House – Meeting with Coalitions Director 
  • Office of Congressman Davidson (OH) – Meeting with the Congressman

The primary focus of the fly-in centered on the aforementioned priorities, but Sayre and Tokowicz highlighted other issues impacting the recreational boating industry, including the proposed Right Whale Vessel Speed Rule, workforce issues and Research and Development Tax Credits. The MRAA will continue to work with the SBLC to advocate on behalf of marine retailers and other small businesses in the recreational boating industry.

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