JA Welcomes New Law on Store Improvements

Jewelers of America said Monday that it welcomed a two-year extension of the 15-year depreciation on store improvements, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on Oct. 3.

The depreciation measure was part of a tax “extenders” package attached to the financial rescue bill, JA said in a statement. The depreciation measure, which was previously only available to leaseholders, has now been expanded to include property owners. It has been extended until the end of 2009.

“Jewelers of America welcomes the extension of this important depreciation measure, which will help jewelers – whether they rent or own their retail space—to refurbish their stores more often to stay competitive,” said Matthew A. Runci, Jewelers of America president and chief executive officer.

The measure enables retailers to continue to write-off improvements on stores over a period of 15 years, instead of the 39 years that previously had been mandated, JA said.

JA said it had originally worked to have the store improvements depreciation measure included in an economic stimulus package passed by Congress in the aftermath of 9/11. Each time the measure has come up for an extension, the association has contacted legislators on Capitol Hill to support it.

The association’s political action committee, JAPAC, has also focused its donations on legislators who work on legislation of vital interest to retailers, such as depreciation for store improvements. “JAPAC has enabled jewelers to have a voice in government on the issues that are critical to jewelers’ bottom lines,” says Runci.

For more information on JAPAC, the depreciation measure and other legislative issues Jewelers of America is currently following, visit the Public Affairs section of JA’s Web site.