Developments in Tax and Business

Business Standard Mileage Rate for 2011

The IRS has announced the optional business standard mileage rate for 2011. The rate is 51 cents per mile for calculating the deductible costs of operating a car, van, or pickup or panel truck for business purposes. Taxpayers have the option of calculating and deducting the actual costs of operating their vehicles rather than using the standard rate.

Decline in Size of New Homes

New completed single family homes have become smaller since 2007, according to data from the Census Bureau. New homes had 2,438 square feet of floor area on average in 2009, compared to an average of 2,519 square feet in 2008 and 2,521 square feet in 2007. There were regional variations. The average square feet of floor area in 2009 in the Northeast was 2,594, while it was 2,216 square feet in the Midwest, 2,488 square feet in the South, and 2,434 square feet in the West.

Strong Growth Projected for Green Construction

One bright spot in the midst of one of the toughest decades for the construction industry — green construction. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, spending on green construction is projected to reach $135 billion by 2015, a significant jump from the $71 billion spent in 2010.