The Senate at press time was nearing a vote on extensions and expansions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act tax and benefit provisions. Advocates won a procedural vote on Nov. 2, moving the bill closer to final action. The measure would extend ARRA’s $8,000 first-time homebuyers’ tax credit to contracts through April 30. It also would give a $6,500 credit to those who owned and lived in their present house for five years and seek to buy a new home. The bill would widen ARRA’s small-business five-year operating-loss carry-back to cover all companies. It extends unemployment benefits for 14 weeks,
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.