Representatives of JCB dealer Stephenson Equipment met with U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta (R), representative for Pennsylvania’s 11th District, on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 to discuss topics related to highway infrastructure and funding sources.
Stephenson Equipment sells, rents and services highway building and road maintenance equipment, including JCB wheel loaders, excavators, backhoes and skid steer loaders. The company employs 140 individuals at its six locations throughout Pennsylvania and New York. Congressman Barletta, who has visited the company’s Harrisburg, PA headquarters before, requested the return visit with Stephenson President Dennis Heller, EVP and CEO Robert Criste and Vice President and Wilkes-Barre, PA Branch Manager Dave Donati.
As a global company, JCB encourages its dealers to take a stance on those issues that impact them on a local, regional or national level. Infrastructure legislation and funding are examples of the many types of issues that affect the livelihood of equipment dealers, manufacturers and their customers.
“We take pride in being active in the political arena,” said Stephenson’s Heller. “We realize the importance of sharing our view and perspective as a local heavy equipment provider with lawmakers like Congressman Barletta.”
Congressman Barletta has publicly expressed his disappointment with the offsets in the $325 billion highway bill recently passed by the House of Representatives and the fact that neither the House nor the Senate has worked on serious reforms that will provide the Highway Trust Fund with a sustainable funding source. During the meeting, the group spent several hours discussing the highway bill, future sustainable highway funding ideas, Section 179/bonus depreciation legislation and Congressman Barletta’s desire to see that legislation passed before the end of 2015. The Stephenson team explained how the highway bill will affect them, as well as the impact a sustainable Highway Trust Fund would have on Stephenson Equipment and other local businesses.
“It is great to have someone like Lou in office,” said Heller. “His background in road construction and as the former mayor of Hazleton, PA is of great value in his position on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His efforts to secure a number of victories for transportation safety and reduced regulation in the highway bill demonstrate good common sense.”
JCB was pleased to hear about the Stephenson/Barletta meeting.
“We are always encouraged when our dealers advocate for legislation that positively impacts the construction and agricultural industries,” stated Thom Peebles, vice president of marketing for JCB North America. “Along with our dealers, JCB is closely watching legislation activity surrounding section 179. In prior years, Section 179 has benefitted equipment sales by offering up to a $500,000 one-time tax credit to businesses purchasing less than $2,000,000 in new or used equipment in a single tax year. The current Section 179 deduction for 2015 is $25,000 with ongoing discussions targeting extending it to $500,000 through December 31, 2015.”