BOMA International fully supports tax incentives to promote the installation of new roof systems in existing buildings. BOMA also supports a reduced depreciation schedule for the installation of new roof systems in existing commercial buildings.
Building owners currently depreciate roofs on a 39-year schedule, the same schedule currently used to depreciate the life of the building itself. In 1981, Congress eliminated the ability to depreciate separate building components at different rates and put in place a general depreciation period of 15 years for all building components. Then, in 1993 in order to raise revenue, Congress extended the recovery period for nonresidential property to 39 years.
Because the average life of a commercial roof is just under 20 years, the 39-year depreciation schedule for commercial roofs makes little business or environmental sense. Permitting the depreciation of roofs on a shorter, more realistic schedule would encourage building owners to incur the
added expense of replacing older, less efficient roofs. With this added incentive to replace nonperforming roofs, building owners will help protect the integrity of the entire structure, increase the structure's energy efficiency, and add to the economy as a whole by spurring activity within the construction industry.
The Realistic Roofing Tax Treatment Act of 2007 was introduced in the 110th Congress in the House and would reduce the depreciation recovery period for roof systems to 20 years. No action was taken on the bill. Legislation allowing building owners to depreciate certain energy efficient roofs over 20 years was introduced in the 111th Congress, but no action was taken. During the 112th Congress, The Roofing Efficiency Jobs Act of 2011 was introduced in the House and the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act was introduced in the Senate. Both bills would permit a 20 year deprecation schedule for qualified energy efficient roofs. Neither bill has seen much attention thus far.