Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A

On October 12, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) published the final rule, “Temporary Agricultural Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the United States”, effective on November 14, 2022. This final rule amends the Department’s regulations governing the H-2A program to improve program protections for workers and enhance enforcement against fraud and abuse, while modernizing the H-2A application and temporary labor certification process. This final rule strengthens protections for U.S. workers and H-2A workers; enhances program integrity and enforcement capabilities of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification and the Wage and Hour Division; modernizes the prevailing wage determination process; and provides clarity to employers and other stakeholders.

 

Millican Nurseries awards $10,000 in Scholarships

Millican Nurseries, LLC, of Chichester, NH, has distributed scholarship awards to six of their college students/employees. The nursery awarded the recipients a share of their $10,000 2022 Millican Nurseries Scholarship Fund in recognition of their hard work and dedication towards furthering their education.

Millican Nurseries extends its gratitude to its loyal customers, who made this scholarship possible.

The Scholarship recipients are:
• Madeline Apgar, University of New England
• Peter Apgar, Keene State College
• Calvin Michael, University of New England
• Jack Milligan, Thomas Aquinas College
• Matthew Wagner, New Hampshire Technical Institute
• Bailey White, Lesley University

Inflation Reduction Act Gives Tax Credit for Commercial Grade Mowers

The Inflation Reduction Act was signed by President Biden on Aug. 16, 2022, and this new law includes a tax credit for electric vehicles. Within the definition, large commercial grade lawn mowers are included.
The tax credit is 30 percent per vehicle/lawn mower, with a max of $7,500 per vehicle/lawn mower. The credit is available for sales made beginning Jan. 1, 2023, and the credit sunsets in 2032.

The interpretation of commercial mowers counting as mobile machinery was confirmed during a discussion on the Senate floor.

The parameters for these mowers must be less than 14,000 lbs. and have a battery capacity of not less than 7-kilowatt hours. This is significant because the parameters limit this tax credit to solely commercial-grade electric lawn mowers.

“To be able to get that credit per piece of machinery, I think, is a tremendous incentive to want to start to transition your fleet over to electric,” says Andrew Bray, VP of government affairs for the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

NALP, along with key equipment manufacturers, previously worked to have this language included in the Build Back Better legislation. When those efforts stalled, NALP continued to explore other options and had discussions with some offices about a play in the omnibus.

“When the Inflation Reduction Act came together quickly last week we were pleased to see this language intact,” Bray says. “I’d like to give specific credit to efforts of Stanley Black and Decker who helped secure Sen. Van Hollens remarks and also to John Deere for playing a critical role to include ‘mobile machinery.’ This was a great outcome for the landscape industry.”

The IRS will issue further guidance before tax filings for the 2023 year.

“It is still our mission to look for additional funding through tax credits at the federal level or rebates at the local and state level to also assist folks in making the transition with all of the electrical equipment including batteries, leaf blowers, all the other stuff,” Bray says. “That’s still a top priority. We’re not done yet, but this was a great first step.”