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Georgia Restaurant Association                         Regulatory Update                                 Mike Ruberti     ...
Agenda      Federal Issues:         – Health Care Law         – Restaurant Depreciation         – Credit/Debit Card Swipe-...
Agenda      State (Georgia) Issues:          – HB 100 (Tax Court)          – HB 347 (Unemployment)          – HB 432 (Paid...
Health Care Law Starting in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate requires   businesses...
Restaurant Depreciation From 2005 to the end of 2011, a special temporary provision in the tax code allowed restaurants t...
Credit/Debit Card Swipe-Fee Reform Restaurateurs worked for years to address uncontrolled increases in debit-card swipe f...
NLRB Ambush-Election The NLRB’s controversial “ambush election” regulation would change the union election  process partl...
Tax Reform Revenue-raisers are already being discussed. Cutting tax rates is a priority but carries a price tag.  To pay ...
Immigration H.R. 2885, the Legal Workforce Act, would create a uniform federal E-Verify system for all   employers with a...
Tip Credit Notice On May 29, 2012, a Federal court ruled DOL followed correct procedures concerning the notice  employers...
State (Georgia) Issues HB 100 (Tax Court): GRA supported, bill successfully passed on April 9, 2012.  Provides restaurant...
State (Georgia) Issues HB 342 (Paid Sick Leave): GRA opposed, bill dead in session.  Though the bill did not require empl...
Resources / Q&A          Helpful Websites:            – www.restaurant.org            – www.garestaurants.org            ...
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Regulatory update me rv3 - 6-25-12

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Regulatory update me rv3 - 6-25-12

  1. 1. Georgia Restaurant Association Regulatory Update Mike Ruberti June 25, 2012Slide 1 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  2. 2. Agenda Federal Issues: – Health Care Law – Restaurant Depreciation – Credit/Debit Card Swipe-Fee Reform – NLRB Ambush-Election – Tax Reform – Immigration – Tip Credit NoticeSlide 2 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  3. 3. Agenda State (Georgia) Issues: – HB 100 (Tax Court) – HB 347 (Unemployment) – HB 432 (Paid Sick Leave) – HB 683 (Wage Garnishment)Slide 3 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  4. 4. Health Care Law Starting in 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate requires businesses with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer an “affordable” health plan that offers “minimum value” to full-time employees and their dependents or face penalties. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing constitutional questions related to the PPACA. The Court could strike down the entire law or rule on parts of the law (i.e., employer mandate). The court’s decision is expected any day. If the law stays in place, employers must have plan decisions made and systems set by mid-2013 for open enrollment seasons for plan years that begin January 1, 2014.Slide 4 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  5. 5. Restaurant Depreciation From 2005 to the end of 2011, a special temporary provision in the tax code allowed restaurants to depreciate the cost of improvements and new construction over 15 years, rather than 39 years. Congress usually included this measure as part of an annual tax “extenders” package. Congress let the 15-year depreciation provision expire at the end of 2011. Restaurateurs now must depreciate construction/renovation costs over 39 years. A 15-year tax depreciation schedule provides restaurateurs with additional cash flow which allows them to fund additional improvements and/or hire additional employees. There are ongoing legislative efforts to make the 15 year depreciation schedule permanent.Slide 5 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  6. 6. Credit/Debit Card Swipe-Fee Reform Restaurateurs worked for years to address uncontrolled increases in debit-card swipe fees. Congress passed the Durbin Amendment in 2010 to ensure that the fees merchants pay when guests pay by debit card are “reasonable and proportional” to the cost of processing debit transactions. The Federal Reserve issued a final rule to implement the Durbin reforms, effective October 1, 2011, whereby the rule imposes a first-time cap on covered merchant debit swipe fees. The cap is 21 cents per debit transaction, plus .05% of the transaction. While this wasn’t as good for merchants as the 12-cent cap the Fed originally proposed, it’s a significant drop from the average 44 cents that merchants paid per debit transaction before October 1. Some merchants with lower-ticket transactions have seen debit swipe fees rise since October 1 as a result of the cap. There is an outstanding lawsuit against the Federal Reserve that seeks to force the Federal Reserve to adjust the rule for the law’s intended purposes.Slide 6 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  7. 7. NLRB Ambush-Election The NLRB’s controversial “ambush election” regulation would change the union election process partly by speeding up the time between when a union petition is filed and when employees vote on it. The NLRB’s ambush-election regulation would cut union elections to as short as 10 days, from petition to vote. The median timeline for union elections in the accommodations and foodservices industry — the sector that includes restaurants — is currently 41 days. The Federal District Court for District of Columbia ruled in May that the NLRB lacked a quorum, so the rule has been delayed.Slide 7 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  8. 8. Tax Reform Revenue-raisers are already being discussed. Cutting tax rates is a priority but carries a price tag. To pay for reducing tax rates, Congress is already discussing broadening the tax base; increasing taxes on dividends/capital gains; scaling back deductions and credits; and potentially subjecting large flow- through entities to corporate taxes. As an industry with a significant number of flow-through entities, restaurants could be disproportionately affected by some tax proposals. Measures to treat larger flow-throughs like corporations, for example, could have an important effect on restaurants. Restaurants would also be hit harder if Congress changed tax provisions now available to all businesses, such as Section 179 expensing for equipment and other purchases; depreciation rules; and tax credits such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit or the Section 45(B) FICA Tax Tip Credit, an employer-based solution to help capture under-reported tip income. A simpler tax code with lower rates is a positive step, but tax reform must take the restaurant industry’s diversity into account. Restaurants aren’t a one-size-fits-all industry. Tax reform should be accomplished in a comprehensive manner.Slide 8 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  9. 9. Immigration H.R. 2885, the Legal Workforce Act, would create a uniform federal E-Verify system for all employers with a strong safe harbor for businesses and the opportunity for employers to rectify paperwork errors without any penalties being imposed. The legislation would also preempt state and local E-Verify mandates. However, Congress is at a stalemate and appears unable to act on comprehensive immigration reform. Employers need a uniform federal E-Verify system that’s efficient, accurate and easy to use. In Georgia, E-Verify is the law for all employers with 11 or more employees. The effective date for this law varies depending on the number of employees.Slide 9 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  10. 10. Tip Credit Notice On May 29, 2012, a Federal court ruled DOL followed correct procedures concerning the notice employers must provide to tipped employees about the federal tip credit. To take a tip credit, employers must notify tipped employees in advance about the tip credit. Notice requirements are now more detailed. We recommend written notice. Failure to comply can result in significant financial risks and/or criminal penalties.Slide 10 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  11. 11. State (Georgia) Issues HB 100 (Tax Court): GRA supported, bill successfully passed on April 9, 2012. Provides restaurants with a streamlined resolution of tax issues and alleviates unpredictability in recent proliferation of audits. A separate entity (referred to as a Tax Tribunal) under the Office of State Administrative Hearings will oversee tax disputes involving decisions by the Georgia Department of Revenue. The tax court will help reduce time and money spent by restaurants in trying to resolve tax issues. HB 347 (Unemployment): GRA neutral, bill successfully passed on May 2, 2012. Cuts the length of state unemployment benefits but increases rates of unemployment insurance for employers. The purpose of this law is to help the state pay back the federal government the over $700 million it borrowed to help pay for unemployment benefits during the recession. Though the bill is supposed to be less burdensome for employers, the GRA does not support the rate increases but does support stabilization of the fund. Restaurants should be prepared for their state unemployment taxes to increase.Slide 11 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  12. 12. State (Georgia) Issues HB 342 (Paid Sick Leave): GRA opposed, bill dead in session. Though the bill did not require employers to offer sick leave, the bill would have placed mandatory restrictions on those that did. The GRA supports flexibility for restaurants to determine their own benefits for their employees. HB 683 (Wage Garnishment): GRA supported, bill successfully passed on February 7, 2012. HB 683 clarifies Georgia garnishment proceedings so that employers are now able to answer wage garnishments instead of having to defer them to an attorney. This will save restaurants thousands of dollars in legal fees. Slide 12 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association
  13. 13. Resources / Q&A  Helpful Websites: – www.restaurant.org – www.garestaurants.org – www.dol.gov – www.wagehour.dol.gov  Questions?Slide 13 Information provided by National Restaurant Association and Georgia Restaurant Association

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