AMT Says Obama Proposals Would Help Manufacturing

Manufacturing group cites provisions aimed at promoting capital investments.

Congress should move to implement provisions of the Obama administration's plan to create jobs and help manufacturing, the AMT - Association for Manufacturing Technology declared.

Two provisions particularly important to U.S. manufacturers, said AMT President Douglas Woods, are a one-year extension of enhanced Section 179 expensing for small businesses and a one-year extension of the 50 percent bonus depreciation incentive for new capital equipment purchases. AMT noted that both provisions were enacted in Congress' 2008 stimulus bill and extended through 2009 under the Recovery Act. President Obama's proposals would extend them through 2010.

Section 179 allows small businesses to immediately expense up to $250,000 of qualified equipment and other business investments. The bonus depreciation tax incentive allows companies to immediately depreciate 50% of the costs of capital expenditures.

AMT noted that orders for manufacturing technology are off 66% for the first 10 months of 2009. Moreover, capacity utilization bottomed out at 65.1% in June, the lowest level recorded since tracking began in 1948.

Woods said it was "especially satisfying to hear [Obama] specifically addressing small business needs and in particular recognizing the need to provide tax cuts and incentives, as well as addressing the need to make credit more accessible to small businesses." He added that the two provisions "have been very effective in the past and will be a much-needed boost for 2010."

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