I'm going to be meeting with my Congressman soon about a modest proposal I have that could be a big deal. My Congressman (Frank Wolf) is a big proponent of telecommuting already, and is quite aware of all the great benefits that it brings.
I want to bring to his attention (or rather his LA's attention) a simple idea that I have, modelled on the famous cubicle depreciation story. As you probably know, the cubicle - that Dilbertesque fate of the white collar worker - was tremendously helped in its adoption by a quirk of tax law. Renovations to offices are depreciated on a 30 year schedule, Cubicles on a much, much shorter time frame. Because cubicles can be depreciated faster, there is an incentive amongst corporations to use them - they realize the same tax benefit over a shorter period of time. Since "revenue" is thus accelerated, it spurs adoption.
My idea is simple - any assets used primarily by a telecommuting worker (defined as someone who regularly works within 1 mile of their primary residence more than 3 days a week) would be depreciated over a period one class shorter than its normal designation. (Per Tax Code Section 147, assets can be depreciated over periods ranging from 18 months to 30 years).
In presenting this proposal to the Congressman, however, I'd like to be able to say that the idea is actually revenue neutral over a 10 year period - the most common measure of scoring a program's cost.
Would this be accurate? In general, is there any budgetary scoring cost for accelerating depreciation?
While I'm most interested in the USA (and specifically CBO scoring), I'm up for foreign precedent as well.