The WoodMachinery Manufacturers of America and its new Washington representative,Lobbyit, discussed issues of interest to the WMMA membership and to allwoodworking companies in the new year.

The Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, was introducedin the House in July and is intended to bring down the cost of litigation fromproduct liability – a goal for U.S. manufacturers for many years. The billwould limit liability for sellers that were not manufacturers of the defectiveproduct and did not have knowledge of the defect before its sale.

Permanent S Corporation Built-InGains Recognition Period Act was introduced in the House in April and would amend the taxcode to extend the five-year recognition period for built-in gains. The currentrecognition period, or time after conversion to an S Corporation that abusiness may avoid certain taxes, is 10 years for taxable years after 2013. Thereason for the legislation is to allow small businesses more flexibility inselling assets and accessing capital with providing some certainty for taxpurposes, according to Lobbyit.

Anotherissue is America’s Small Business TaxRelief Act, introduced in the House in April. It would make permanent theexpensing allowances for depreciable business property, including computersoftware, air conditioning and heating units. Supporters say making expensinglevels permanent after expiration would encourage small businesses to invest innew equipment and facilities.

One issuebeing addressed by WMMA and Lobbyit is the issue of how small and medium-sizedbusinesses are greatly affected by regulations.

Lobbyitwrote a paper on the Cost of CumulativeRegulatory Burden (it’s reported to be much higher on a per employee basisfor smaller companies) and shared it with the House Small Business Committee.

In addition,EPA Is developing a final rule under the 2010 Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act to establishspecific formaldehyde emission limits for hardwood plywood, particleboard andMDF.

And OSHA hasnot finalized a rule for CombustibleDust, something that the woodworking industry is looking at closely. See www.wmma.org for more information and updates.

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