Senate GOP leaders released on Monday their $1 trillion 4.0 proposal, called the “HEALS Act,” which includes some ACRA goals. Missing, however, was perhaps the most important ACRA “ask” – airport concessionaire MAG or rent relief. The Senate GOP proposal included $10 billion in new funds for the nation’s airports, but did not direct airports to provide MAG or rent relief to concessionaires from these new funds. Under discussion over the past several weeks has been a $5 billion grant program to provide airport concessionaires with 18 months of rental and MAG abatement – funds that would be added to the airports’ federal grants. ACRA has partnered with the other major airport concession representatives (http://www.acraorg.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/7-1-2.pdf) on this effort. To date, apparently, the Senate hasn’t listened. As a result, ACRA is initiating the f “Call to Action” described below and asks for your help securing this important policy goal.
The Democratic-controlled House passed its version of a 4.0 bill weeks ago – called the HEROES Act and with a price tag of $3 trillion – that bears little resemblance to the HEALS Act. Some CARES Act (the big pandemic relief legislation passed in March 2020) provisions of particular importance to Democrats expire on 7/31, but few are anticipating a bi-partisan negotiation between HEROES and HEALS to be wrapped up by the week-end. Stay tuned for further information on this front.
Call to Action – Contact Your Senators
If your company has airport operations in any of the following states, ACRA needs you to send an e- mail to your Senators’ senior staff today: AL, ME, MS, RI, VT and WA. Please contact Greg Scott, ACRA’s D.C. representative, for your Senators’ personal and senior staff e-mail addresses and the draft message that you can personalize and send urging them to support airport concessionaire MAG relief. Greg’s e- mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACRA’s 4.0 Policy Priorities and Senate GOP Proposal
ACRA continues to focus on five policy priorities with respect to a potential 4.0 bill:
- Restoring Liquidity
The Senate proposal would add additional funds to the CARES Act’s PPP program for small businesses and permit small businesses to seek a second, forgivable PPP loan.
- Airport Issues
As noted above, the Senate GOP proposal does not contain MAG or rent relief for airport concessionaires and ACRA will try to change that with the direct lobbying of its members.
- Liability Protection
The Senate GOP proposal contains strong liability protection provisions that ACRA supports. ACRA will sign on to a joint association letter led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week that supports the inclusion of these provisions in a 4.0 bill sent to the president.
- Travel Tax Credit
The Senate GOP proposal did not contain a federal tax credit or travel voucher to boost travel in the future.
- Cleaning Tax Credit
The Senate GOP proposal contains an ACRA-supported payroll tax credit that permits companies to deduct 50 percent of the costs of pandemic-related cleaning supplies and facility modifications. The amount of the credit starts at $1,000 for each of the first 500 employees and is reduced to $500 for each employee over 1,000 employees.