Design and construction organizations are lobbying to get a proposed tax increase for certain professional-services firms—including architecture and engineering firms—stripped from a bill now pending in the Senate. But the groups face hurdles. The American Council of Engineering Cos., American Institute of Architects, American Subcontractors Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors and other business groups are backing an amendment proposed by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to drop the tax hike from the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, which the Senate is debating. The Snowe proposal is one of a string of pending amendments to the bill.
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.