The Legislative Report blog provides timely information on federal and state legislation and regulations and state trends as well as the myriad issues affecting the private club industry. A companion to CMAA's Legislative website, this resource should be your first stop for any information regarding legal, tax or legislative club-specific issues.

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Expanding the Advocacy Resources

(501(c)(7) Tax Exempt Club Info, Health Care Reform, ADA, Congress, State Trends, Legal Issues, National Golf Day, Dept of Labor, OSHA, IRS, Immigration, WE ARE GOLF, Regulation, Budget, Tax Issues) Permanent link

Key State LegislationClubindustryvotes.org, CMAA’s Grassroots Advocacy website, has relaunched with expanded information and abilities. The new site adds dynamic state-level information with tracked legislation and legislators.

Through the website, all CMAA members will be able to easily access:

  • Currently Tracked Federal Bills and Regulations
  • Key State Bills (New!!!)
  • Directory of Federal and State Legislators (New!!!)
  • Action Alerts on CMAA-Tracked Issues
  • Non-Partisan Election and Voter Registration Information

As well, Chapters, through their Managing Directors and Legislative Chairmen, will have the opportunity to collaborate with CMAA on state-related Action Alerts (contact forms) and more.

This resource, coupled with the Legislative Report and webinar series providing timely compliance information on the regulations impacting clubs, will now comprise CMAA’s robust advocacy initiative. Get started now to make your voice heard.

Omnibus Offers Welcome Reprieves for Industry

(Congress, Budget) Permanent link

The 2,009-page 2016 spending deal has a lot to offer; first it keeps the government running which is a good thing for everyone inside and outside the beltway. But the good news is it also offers three much needed reprieves for the industry.

Cadillac Tax: Employers will get a two year reprieve from this tax which was slated to become effective in 2018. The 40 percent excise tax on plans exceeding established individual and family plans will now become effective in 2020. Read more on the effect of this tax.

Conservation Easement: Under current law, a property owner may deduct the value of a conservation easement (a partial interest) that is donated to a qualified charitable organization exclusively for conservation purposes. In recent years, this tax incentive has been coupled with more than 50 tax provisions and annually renewed. The good news is that the omnibus makes this tax incentive permanent in the tax code and golf was not excluded from this act. (Technically, this was passed as a separate amendment alongside the omnibus bill but wrapped up in the whole deal.)

H-B Visas: Clubs who utilize the H-2B Visa worker program to provide seasonal staff have a reprieve from substantial changes to the program that were announced and immediately became effective in April 2015. The amendments to the program were included in the omnibus, and mirror recent measures in the House and Senate to modify the program including the reinstatement of the returning worker exemption and the admission of private wage surveys. The term “seasonal” was clearly delineated as ten months, a month longer than the previous definition. Read more...

We Are Golf Intercedes on Conservation Easements for Golf Courses

(Congress, IRS, Budget) Permanent link

 04_25_14_175wWe Are Golf (WAG), the industry’s advocacy coalition, scored a significant victory recently when it successfully reversed an effort within the Senate Finance Committee to specifically exclude golf courses from eligibility for conservation easement tax incentives. We Are Golf’s Washington, D.C.-based advocacy firm, Forbes-Tate, led an effort that was supported by several WAG member organizations, including CMAA, to convince key members of the Senate Finance Committee to include golf courses among eligible land uses for conservation easement tax incentives during the mark up of the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act
On April 3, the Senate Finance Committee voted to extend a package of key expired or expiring tax provisions, including the conservation easement for golf courses through December 2015. Conservation easements allow a property owner to deduct the value (a partial interest) that is donated to a qualified charitable organization exclusively for conservation purposes. The proposal would amend the charitable contribution deduction provision to prohibit a deduction for any contribution of property that is in use as a golf course. First created in 2006 and extended multiple times, the conservation provision expired at the end of 2013.
We Are Golf will continue to remain vigilant with both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to ensure that golf courses remain eligible for conservation easement tax incentives.  While WAG was successful in this instance, much work remains to ensure that golf courses retain their conservation easement tax incentive eligibility and receive equitable treatment with other small businesses.
The EXPIRE Act will next go to the full Senate for consideration. Meanwhile, the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Representative (R-MI) Dave Camp’s tax reform proposal does include a provision that excludes golf courses from conservation easement incentive eligibility. The House Ways and Means Committee has announced that its review of tax extenders will begin on April 29.  

National Golf Day Focuses Industry’s Contributions

(Congress, National Golf Day, Budget) Permanent link

NGD 2013 - Tony D'Errico and Damon DiOrio - 175wDuring the sixth annual National Golf Day on Tuesday, April 16, CMAA, in cooperation with its partners in the WE ARE GOLF coalition, met with Members of Congress to share the industry’s economic, environmental, health and charitable benefits. CMAA was represented by Vice President Damon DiOrio, CCM, CCE, and Secretary-Treasurer Tony D’Errico, CCM, CCE, and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Singerling, CCM.

CMAA was involved in meetings with Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) as well as the offices of Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). In the Senate, CMAA representatives met with the offices of Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The focus of the meetings was to thank the co-sponsors for HR6683, disaster relief legislation which was introduced in the last session of Congress. This bill has yet to be reintroduced in this session of Congress but momentum is already building following a letter from Congressman Joe Crowley to Speaker of the House John Boehner urging movement to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Disaster relief was the uniting issue that led the golf industry to create WE ARE GOLF. On December 21, 2005, President Bush signed the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act, which was designed to help businesses re-establish in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. Taxpayers were permitted bonus depreciation, allowed to expense demolition costs and given additional time to carryback net operating losses for expenses related to the disaster. However, golf was excluded from taking advantage of these rebuilding benefits.

The day was comprised of more than 100 individuals participating in Washington, DC, in approximately 115 Congressional visits and meetings. Thousands of other individuals supported the event through social media, specifically the #iamgolf campaign on Twitter.

NGD 2013 - Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY)Participants and supporters shared great messages about this industry and our contributions including:

  • At nearly $69 billion, golf’s economic impact exceeds that of spectator sports, the performing arts, and the amusement and recreation industries.
  • Golf is key to the economic vitality of many states and localities, providing nearly two million jobs and $55.6 billion in annual wage income.
  • The game’s charitable impact is approximately $3.9 billion per year. As a fundraising vehicle, the game includes an estimated 12,000 golf facilities, 143,000 events, 12 million participants and raises $26,300 average per function. Golf’s annual philanthropic contributions are more than the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB combined.

Learn more about the 2013 National Golf Day.

A Summary of the Fiscal Cliff Deal and New Withholding Tables

(Congress, Budget) Permanent link

As forecasted, a lifeline was thrown that stopped the US from heading over the Fiscal Cliff only a few hours post-deadline. The American Taxpayer Relief Act, HR 8, raises the tax rates on the highest earners and extends several other tax cuts for individuals and businesses.  more... 

What Will 2013 Bring? Annual Legislative & Regulatory Forecast

(501(c)(7) Tax Exempt Club Info, Health Care Reform, ADA, Congress, State Trends, Legal Issues, National Golf Day, Dept of Labor, OSHA, IRS, Immigration, WE ARE GOLF, Regulation, Budget) Permanent link

Pile of Papers - 175wForecasting is not an exact science. Take the weather for example. How many times does the TV weatherman get it right? But none the less, here are some issues clubs should pay attention to this coming year. Some of this might sound repetitive from 2012. Being a Presidential election year, 2012 was a year of inaction for both Congress and the regulatory agencies. The most significant events in 2012 for clubs were the Supreme Court’s action in upholding the Affordable Care Act and the deferrals of the H-2B Wage Rule and the swimming pool and spa provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. more... 


National Golf Day Focuses on Disaster Relief and Conservation Easements

(Congress, National Golf Day, Budget) Permanent link

 National Golf Day Apr 2012

During the fifth annual National Golf Day on Wednesday, April 18, CMAA, in cooperation with its partners in the WE ARE GOLF  coalition, met with Members of Congress to share stories and data about golf’s diverse businesses, employees, tax revenue creation, tourism and charitable benefits and environmental leadership. CMAA was represented by Board Members, Damon DiOrio, CCM, CCE, and Tony D’Errico, CCM, CCE, and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Singerling, CCM. CMAA was involved in meetings with Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI), Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) as well as the offices of Congressmen Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Richard Hanna (R-NY). The focus of the meetings was to thank and expand co-sponsor support for HR2718 and S1456, the Disaster Tax Act of 2011, and HR1964, the Conservation Easement Incentive Act.   more...