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December 29, 2016

 
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As 2016 comes to a close, ASA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the ASA Insights a look at our choices for 'Top Articles' of the year. Our regular publication will resume Thursday, Jan. 5.



States Set Up Fight Over Web Sales Tax
American Supply Association
From Feb. 25: With Congress' ongoing inaction to address the disparity between brick-and-mortar sellers and Internet-only sellers, states are taking on the fight themselves. Tired of waiting for Congress to right this wrong, 13 states are preparing to impose taxes themselves and daring merchants to sue them. The gambit is aimed at creating business blowback and a confusing national patchwork of laws that might prompt Congress to act.
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ASA Urges Treasury Department to Rethink Pending Estate Tax Changes
American Supply Association
From Nov. 10: Last week, ASA joined with 1000’s of other businesses and business groups, urging the Department of Treasury to withdraw their proposal that would threaten family run businesses across the country. As our letter states, “If implemented, the regulations could have a detrimental impact on family-owned businesses. They would result in an increase of estate and gift taxes by 30 percent or more, divert capital from business investment, threaten jobs, and force many families to sell their businesses to outside interests. By restricting how small businesses can transfer shares of family-owned businesses to their heirs, this proposal would throw the succession and estate planning of thousands of family-owned businesses into disarray.”
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Senate Overtime Champion Pushes for Action, Cites ASA's Efforts
American Supply Association
From Oct. 20: In response to ASA’s and other leaders in the business community’s calls for Senate action addressing overtime regulations, Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee issued a statement highlighting ASA’s leadership in this effort. As the Senator continues building the case for Senate action following the elections, he states, “My hope is that when we come back in November, senators on both sides of the aisle will have heard from their Boy Scout troops, from colleges and universities, from non-profits, and from workers, who say: ‘Wait a minute, this overtime rule makes no sense the way it is being implemented. Do something to change it before December 1.’ These are employers who can't just raise prices. They are dependent on tax dollars or on charitable donations. And if they are in trouble because of this rule, our communities will lose critical services: surgeries for cleft palates, scouting opportunities, church camps for underprivileged kids, and others.”
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ASA Tackles Industry Workforce Need
American Supply Association
From June 30: Last year, the ASA Education Foundation sponsored a workforce study to get the facts on the realities of our aging workforce and the challenges ahead. I don’t think anyone was surprised to find out the industry is in desperate need of qualified employees in order to sustain business going forward. But to see the stats in black and white is surely a wake-up call for all of us. The American Supply Association is working on many levels to help attract new and younger employees into this industry. Through a massive career initiative, ASA is reaching out to high schools, technical schools, colleges and military veterans to market, inform and attract new workers into our industry. And with a specific focus on capturing the attention of women, ASA formed the ASA Women in Industry Division about three years ago.
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Bill Introduced to Scale Back Overtime Regulations
American Supply Association
From July 21: Last week, as Congress adjourned for the summer, Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act (OREA) that would bring welcome relief to the coming overtime regulations. As our letter of support states: “businesses large and small will face significant challenges implementing this regulation. Like you, we agree that the overtime threshold is due for an increase, but under the timeline envisioned by this current regulation, it’s just too much, too soon. Lowering the threshold to $35,984 and phasing in further increases over the course of three years is the right thing to do. By failing to address this looming administrative and financial catastrophe for small businesses, those that this regulation is intended to help, may be harmed as a result.”
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The Undereducated Workforce: Plenty of Jobs — Too Few Workers
The Gordon Report
From Feb. 18: Does the 4.9 percent U.S. unemployment rate of January 2016 show a continuing jobs recovery? Many Americans don't think so. They feel themselves victims of mass unemployment in the midst of a continuing recession. Currently, 95 million Americans have given up looking for a job. Of these, 45 million are capable of being employed, including 6 million retirees who still want to work. Also, there are 20 million people working part-time who are seeking full-time employment. Americans are confused, worried, and angry about this. They know that the U.S. economy is not working for them as it once was, and they don't understand why.
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Mid-City Supply Saves Labor Costs by Installing Above-Floor Plumbing Systems
Supply House Times
From April 14: The city of Elkhart is an oasis of people amidst the sparsely populated countryside of north-central Indiana. Known for its railroad museum and nicknamed the "RV Capital of the World," Elkhart embodies the rustic charm of the American Midwest. An Elkhart mainstay since 1947 has been Mid-City Supply Co., a family-owned distributor that deals primarily in plumbing, HVAC and refrigeration supplies. Besides Elkhart, the company has seven other locations scattered throughout Indiana and Michigan. Growth has been a constant for Mid-City Supply throughout its history. The company currently boasts around 100 employees. When the main branch in Elkhart outgrew office space, something had to be done.
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ASA Insights
To contribute news, please contact ASA's Bill Erfort, 630.467.0000, ext. 212.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Bianca Gibson, Executive Editor, 469.420.2611   

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