IRS Increases Health FSA Limit for 2018

  The IRS has increased the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollar limit on employee salary reduction contributions to $2,650 for taxable years beginning in 2018. Revenue Procedure 2017-58 also includes annual inflation numbers for 2018 for a number of other tax provisions.

Waste Rating System Unveiled for Businesses

Companies and facilities have an updated tool to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals through project certification and professional credentialing. The TRUE Zero Waste rating system helps organizations understand how materials flow through their facilities, as well as set benchmarks, track performance, educate employees and identify opportunities for products to be reused. TRUE-certified projects—of which there are 88 around the world—meet a minimum of 90 percent waste diversion for 12 months from landfills, incinerators or the environment. 

Optimism Reported Among Mechanical Contractors

  As mechanical contractors exceed the $25 million revenue threshold, their optimistic business outlook strengthens, according to the 2018 Mechanical Contracting Industry Outlook, sponsored by Jonas Construction Software. Seventy-two percent of the 169 mechanical contractors surveyed in all revenue categories foresee an increase in job and service rates, and 81 percent predict an uptick in sales volume. 

Thwarting the Worst of Hurricane Irma

Insurance companies, homebuilders, and city and county officials are still assessing residential and commercial building damage after Hurricane Irma tore through South Florida on Sept 10, but in general, the stricter building codes enforced after Hurricane Andrew did their job. 

Q: How do you use social media to engage with employees, clients, project partners and your community? What’s the value?

To engage with other construction professionals, or even potential new team members, we share industry news and highlight construction awards and expertise. Because of the personal nature of Facebook, we use it to post about community involvement and company events, interact with team members and share project updates. On Twitter, we focus on engaging content that speaks to a variety of audiences about Forrester’s expertise and core values. We also use Twitter and Facebook to support our client and philanthropic partners in their missions, which is very valuable for relationship building.

Residential Green Building Continues to Gain Traction

At least one-third of single-family and multifamily builders say green building represents more than 60 percent of their portfolio, according to a new SmartMarket Brief from Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders. Within that group, nearly 30 percent of multifamily builders are “dedicated” to green building, meaning it comprises more than 90 percent of their portfolio. 

Oklahoma Will Be Home to Largest U.S. Wind Farm

Work is under way on the 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher facility in the Oklahoma panhandle—set to be the largest wind farm in the United States and the second biggest in the world. It will generate electricity for more than 1 million customers in the South Central United States via 800 turbines. 

State Prevailing Wage Repealed in Wisconsin

  A two-year, $76 billion budget that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed in late September calls for the immediate repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law. An earlier version of the budget included a provision to sunset the prevailing wage law in September 2018, but Walker vetoed it.

Rising Above

In the days and weeks after Hurricane Harvey’s cataclysmic late August landfall, the resilience of the south Texas construction community and the area that it serves was put to the ultimate test. The largest storm to hit the United States since 2005, Harvey slammed into Rockport, Texas, as a Category 4 hurricane, and then it dumped more than 40 inches of rain as it meandered across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. 

Appointments Made to Apprenticeship Task Force

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has appointed a group of people hailing from a wide range of American companies and trade, industry and educational groups to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Among the appointees is Associated Builders and Contractors President and CEO Michael Bellaman. 

 

Bringing Balance Back to the NLRB
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2018 Regional Construction Outlook
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