AAHOA Statement in Response to the 2015 State of the Union Address

ATLANTA, Jan. 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Board Chairman Pratik Patel issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address:

Tonight, hoteliers and small business owners across the nation are hopeful that the president and Congress will work together to establish measures to spur economic growth and private sector job creation. We are encouraged by the president's message of bipartisanship when he declared 'I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long.'

It is in this spirit of cooperation, that AAHOA strongly urges President Obama to embrace a bipartisan and significant change to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will help bring increased stability to the workplace. Earlier this month, the House passed H.R. 30, the Save American Workers Act, which restores the traditional definition of full time status under the ACA from thirty hours per week to forty hours per week. Reaffirming a forty hour work week will promote more working hours for employees, resulting in higher take home pay and more tax revenues. The Senate is expected to pass a companion bill soon and the president will have the opportunity to send a bold message that he supports commonsense reform that will benefit the American workforce.

Tonight, the president reaffirmed his commitment to comprehensive tax reform when he said, 'we need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together.' As small business owners, hoteliers also support a renewed focus on simplifying and updating the tax code. AAHOA urges the president and Congress to maintain and expand Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) during their negotiations of a final tax reform proposal. Section 1031, which pertains to "like kind" exchanges, allows property owners to defer capital gains taxes when selling a property. Property owners can then use the proceeds to purchase a similar property. This provision affords AAHOA members the capability to buy larger hotels and to hire new employees. Section 1031 also provides essential access to capital to hoteliers and its repeal would dramatically reduce the ability for small business owners to develop their businesses and to create jobs. We are hopeful that the president and Congress will appreciate these concerns when deliberating changes to the tax code.

We share the president's optimism for 2015 and we echo his sentiment that 'a bright future is ours to write' and that we can begin this new chapter together and start the work right now. AAHOA looks forward to working with President Obama, Congress and our partners in the hospitality industry to ensure more opportunities for business owners to create jobs, grow our businesses and invest in our local communities.

Founded in 1989, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with over 14,000 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own more than 20,000 properties amounting to more than 40 percent of all hotels in the United States and employ nearly 600,000 workers, accounting for over $9.4 billion in payroll annually.

CONTACT: Autumn Canaday 404.419.8985

Source:Asian American Hotel Owners Association