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Electrical Connection Contractors Dominate Annual Listing of Largest Electrical Contractors in St. Louis


The St. Louis Business Journal’s annual ranking of the region’s largest electrical contractors features 15 Electrical Connection member contractors among the 17 firms ranked.  The 15 contractors are all members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA) and signatories to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1.  IBEW/NECA partner to form the Electrical Connection.

The rankings are by gross billings in 2020 and can be found at this link.   Among the 15 St. Louis NECA electrical contractors on the April 9, 2021 Business Journal listing and their revenues are:

  • J.F. Electric Inc. —  $274.50 million
  • Sachs Electric — $264.41 million
  • Guarantee Electrical Co. — $206.20 million
  • PayneCrest Electric Inc. — $165.00 million
  • Aschinger Electric Co. — $49.31 million
  • Bell Electrical Contractors Inc. — $34.40 million
  • TSI Global Cos., LLC — $28.13 million
  • Kaemmerlen Electric — $27.00 million
  • Kaiser Electric — $27.00 million
  • Kay Bee Electric  — $23.10 million
  • RJP Electric LLC — $22.75 million
  • Schaeffer Electric Co. Inc. — $21.00 million
  • Schneider Electric of St. Louis LLC — $20.51 million
  • Pyramid Electrical Contractors — $19.20 million
  • J. Bathe Electric — $8.71 million

The industries served by the NECA contactors on the list span residential and commercial, including healthcare, power, industrial, retail, multifamily, renewable energy, institutional, R&D, data centers, schools and more. 

St. Louis NECA contractors employ IBEW electricians and communication technicians.  The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world.  Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.

A View From the Top


By: Michael Chollet, Publisher – St. Louis CNR Magazine


Mike Chollet

A few weeks ago, my son and I set out on our annual trout fishing trip to the White River in Arkansas. The Fall weather and Ozark mountain scenery were beautiful and the fish were exceptionally cooperative. We’ve been making the trip for several years now and I always look forward to a stretch of river where there are a number of impressive homes – my favorite sits at the tip-top of the tallest hill in sight, 300 or more feet above the river. The house is easy to spot because of its distinctive red, metal roof. Over the years, it has become a fishing reference point that we nicknamed the Red Roof Inn. I’ve often wondered about how the world looks from way up there.

This year, on our first day out, my son laid his rod aside after a few hours of fishing and pulled a surprise from his knapsack – a small drone with high-def video capability which he launched from the front transom of the boat. He flew it low over the river a few hundred yards and then it rose and rose until it was flying a few hundred feet above the “Red Roof Inn.”  All the while he was controlling it with his phone and viewing the video footage as it recorded. The structure we could see from below was the largest of a few others surrounding a large concrete courtyard. The drone footage showed that this hill was indeed the highest for miles around and the view from the top, as I had guessed, was truly spectacular.

Seeing that little gizmo in action, I felt lucky to be living in a time of such magical technology. Winston Churchill’s life spanned the invention of the airplane and the moon landing, but folks of my generation have witnessed technological advancements that far surpass those experienced by old Sir Winston.

We’ve had the privilege of seeing impressive progress in a lot of other areas as well. As the eldest son of no-nonsense woman who ran her own company for as long as I can remember, it’s meaningful for me to see women gain an increased presence in leadership roles in a range of industries. They are outnumbering men in graduating into professional careers such as law and medicine and the number of women graduating from business schools is nearing 50 percent of all enrollees. Inroads have also been made in the traditionally male-dominated construction industry.

Those inroads and the remarkable people who are forging them were the inspiration for our 2020 Women in Construction Awards which are featured in this issue. An all-star selection committee made up of eight industry insiders took on the daunting task of choosing our winners from among the 60 nominations we received, and we are extremely grateful for their time and effort.

Reading through the submissions, it was clear that the nominees share a common characteristic of tenacity which is a requisite tool for a woman attempting to open doors in the construction industry. The high-achieving women highlighted in this issue scratched out their own futures through advanced education, serious mentorships, challenging work experience and careful cultivation of industry relationships. We salute our 2020 Women in Construction winners and applaud all the nominees on their success. Your contributions have made the industry and the region better for all who aspire to share your view from the top.

A Piece of St. Louis Labor History Gets a New Home


Capri Pools & Aquatics Installs Eight-Ton Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 Logo at the Union’s New Training Center                     

A 50-year-old ornamental union logo has a new home at the new Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 training center in Earth City, Mo.  Capri Pools & Aquatics installed Local 562’s eight-ton logo etched in tile that was originally created for a pool at the union’s old headquarters in North St. Louis County.

Measuring 13 feet in diameter, Local 562’s logo will be the centerpiece of a monument at the new training center at 3755 Corporate Trail.  The training center will open this summer.

“It was created and placed at the bottom of pool at our old headquarters on Larimore Road around 1970 to remind our members and their families that they belong to something special,” said John O’Mara, business manager, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562.  “The pool itself was pretty unique.  It was built as a recognition of our union member’s hard work during the week, giving them a place for their families to rest, relax and be with friends.”

O’Mara said that about 15 years ago the pool was going to be filled in, but union members wanted to preserve the iconic logo.  It was extracted from the pool and later placed near the first tee at the union’s Emerald Green golf course.  When the long time headquarters at 12385 Larimore Road in Spanish Lake, Mo. was sold in 2017, the logo was placed in storage.

“As we train the next generation of Local 562 craft workers in new technologies in our industry, we also want to remind them of the generations of our workers who have help build the foundation of commercial, residential and industrial projects that sustain us today,” said O’Mara.  “The newly placed logo is also a reminder of our successes and sacrifices that have improved the rights of workers and delivered greater prosperity for families.”

Founded in 1912, Plumbers and Pipefiiters Local 562 represents more than 4,200 union members.  Learn more at www.local562.org.

Based in St. Louis, Capris Pools & Aquatics specializes in engineering, building and maintaining all types of aquatic centers, water parks, natatoriums, municipal swimming pools and a variety of recreational centers.  The firm has delivered more than 30 aquatic projects in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Ohio.  Learn more at www.capripool.com.

CARES Act Provides 4 Possible Reasons to File an Amended Return


Submitted by Schmersahl Treloar

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act delivers good news to individuals and businesses, including valuable tax-relief measures. Some of that tax relief is retroactive. These provisions can affect 2018 and 2019 returns that have already been filed. One retroactive provision can, in some cases, go all the way back to 2013. Some taxpayers that file amended returns may receive a tax refund from prior years.

Here’s a summary of four retroactive CARES Act provisions that can potentially benefit you or your business entity after amended prior-year returns have been prepared and filed.

  1. Liberalized Rules for Deducting NOLs

Business activities that generate tax losses can cause you or your business entity to have a net operating loss (NOL) for the year. Many businesses are currently operating at a loss. But there’s a bright side: The CARES Act significantly liberalizes the NOL deduction rules and allows NOLs that arise from 2018 to 2020 to be carried back five years.

That means an NOL that arises this year can be carried back to 2015. In addition, an NOL that arose in 2018 can be carried back to 2013. Such NOL carry-backs allow you to claim refunds for taxes paid in the carry-back years. Because tax rates were higher in pre-2018 years, NOLs carried back to those years can be especially beneficial.

  1. Better Depreciation Rules for Real Estate QIP

The CARES Act includes a retroactive correction to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that allows much faster depreciation for real estate qualified improvement property (QIP) that’s placed in service after 2017.

QIP is defined as an improvement to an interior portion of a nonresidential building that’s placed in service after the date the building was first placed in service. However, QIP doesn’t include any improvement for which the expenditure is attributable to the enlargement of the building, any elevator or escalator, or the internal structural framework of the building.

The retroactive correction allows you to claim 100% first-year bonus depreciation for QIP expenditures placed in service in 2018 through 2022. Alternatively, you can depreciate QIP placed in service in 2018 and beyond over 15 years using the straight-line method.

Amending a 2018 or 2019 return to claim 100% first-year bonus depreciation for QIP placed in service in those years may result in a lower bill for the tax year the QIP was placed in service. It may even generate an NOL that can be carried back to a prior tax year to recover taxes paid in that prior year.

You could also amend a 2018 or 2019 return to claim 15-year straight-line depreciation for QIP placed in service in those years. That might not create an NOL for 2018 or 2019, but it would still lower your tax bill for those years.

  1. Suspended Excess Business Loss Disallowance Rule for Noncorporate Taxpayers

An unfavorable TCJA provision disallowed current deductions for so-called “excess business losses” incurred by individuals and other noncorporate taxpayers in tax years beginning in 2018 through 2025. An excess business loss is one that exceeds $250,000 or $500,000 for a married joint-filing couple. The $250,000 and $500,000 limits are adjusted annually for inflation.

The CARES Act suspends the excess business loss disallowance rule for losses that arise in tax years beginning in 2018 through 2020. Amending a 2018 or 2019 return to reflect the suspension of the excess business loss disallowance rule could result in a 2018 or 2019 NOL that could then be carried back to a prior tax year to recover taxes paid in that prior year. Or it could just lower the 2018 or 2019 tax bill. Either way, you’ll come out ahead.

  1. Liberalized Limit on Business Interest Expense Deductions

Another unfavorable TCJA provision generally limited a taxpayer’s deduction for business interest expense to 30% of adjusted taxable income (ATI) for tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond. Business interest expense that’s disallowed under this limitation is carried over to the following tax year.

In general, the CARES Act temporarily and retroactively increases the taxable income limitation from 30% of ATI to 50% of ATI for tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020. There’s no change for tax years beginning in 2018. Amending a 2019 return to reflect the liberalized taxable income limitation rule could result in a 2019 NOL that can be carried back to a prior tax year to recover taxes paid in that prior year. Or it could just lower the 2019 tax bill. Either way, you’ll come out ahead.

Special complicated rules apply to partnerships and LLCs that are treated as partnerships for tax purposes.

Important: Taxpayers with average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less for the three previous tax years are exempt from the business interest expense deduction limitation. Certain real property businesses and farming businesses are also exempt if they choose to use slower depreciation methods for specified types of assets.

To Amend or Not to Amend?

The four retroactive tax-relief measures provided by the CARES Act can impact prior tax years for which returns have already been filed. Amended returns can allow you or your business to benefit from these changes and recover taxes paid in prior years. Contact us if you have questions, need more information or want to authorize us to start preparing amended returns for you or your business.