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National Restaurant Association - Tax uncertainty delays restaurant renovation projects

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Tax uncertainty delays restaurant renovation projects

About three in 10 restaurant operators surveyed by the National Restaurant Association report that they have put expansion/improvements projects on hold because they’re uncertain whether Congress will extend the 15-year depreciation schedule for spending on construction and improvements.

The average anticipated spending for projects put on hold due to tax uncertainty is $40,000 for single-unit operators and $500,000 for multi-unit operators, survey respondents reported.

If restaurants proceed with the projects they have put on hold, the result would be $7 billion in direct construction spending by restaurants; a $23 billion overall economic impact as this construction spending ripples across other industries; and 200,000 new jobs across all U.S. industries, the NRA’s research department estimates.

Congress let the 15-year write-off period for restaurant construction and renovations expire at the end of 2011, allowing the depreciation schedule for such expenditures to revert to 39.5 years. Nearly 100 members of Congress are backing NRA-supported bills, S. 687 and H.R. 1265, to make the 15-year schedule permanent.

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