ASLA Statement on Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


On behalf of our members, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) strongly opposes the U.S. Senate’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which does not ensure fair tax treatment for landscape architecture firms doing business across the nation and around the globe.

 Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses organized as pass-through entities would not have to pay tax on 23 percent of their income. However, the measure specifically excludes professional services businesses, including landscape architecture firms, from using the new tax rate. Instead, landscape architecture firms and other “professional services businesses” would be forced to pay higher individual tax rates. The bill would allow only the smallest landscape architecture firms to use the new tax rate. 

“We are troubled that this tax reform legislation has singled out certain professions like landscape architecture to pay higher taxes,” says Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “Preventing landscape architecture firms from paying a lower tax rate would have a detrimental effect on their ability to grow and create jobs.” 

Last week, ASLA, together with the American Institute of Architects and the National Society of Professional Engineers, sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee leadership expressing concern over this tax treatment of professional services businesses. Unfortunately, the Senate has moved forward with this bill. 

The House of Representatives passed its version of tax reform, H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on November 16, which included similar treatment of pass-through entities. 

ASLA will continue to work with our advocacy partners and allied organizations to change the bill as it moves to consideration by a joint House-Senate Conference Committee. 

About the American Society of Landscape Architects

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members. The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA’s mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the Society’s programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient development practices through the creation of its own green roof, co-development of the SITES® Rating System, and the creation of publicly accessible sustainable design resources.


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