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WMMA hits Capitol Hill to lobby for the industry

Representatives of the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America said the organization had a successful legislative lobbying event in Washington, D.C. in September. The annual event, called the “Legislative Fly-in,” is highlighted by member visits to the offices of their U.S. representatives and senators.

This year, the WMMA’s lobbying efforts were supported by the participation of members of the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers Public Policy Committee and the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association. Members of these groups met with more than 30 congressional representatives or their staff to discuss issues focused on promoting growth and competitiveness of the U.S. wood products industry.

Of the topics presented, a major focus was put on a pair of tax reform issues identified as priorities by the WMMA public policy committee, which are tax extenders and the Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act.

The WMMA was among more than 2,000 organizations and businesses that signed a letter submitted Sept. 10 to all members of the 114th Congress by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Broad Tax Extenders Coalition. The letter requested the House and Senate act immediately to make permanent or at least extend for multiple years more than 50 tax provisions that expired last December.

Additionally, WMMA and AWFS representatives singled out making the 2014 direct-expensing limits permanent and indexed to inflation. They said the tax extender would have the greatest impact in helping U.S. wood product manufacturers invest in new equipment, software and training to improve and grow their businesses. The 2014 direct-expensing allowance and cap, extended to $500,000 and $2 million for 2014, will drop to $25,000 and $200,000 without congressional intervention.

“The WMMA fly-in continues to be more effective each year with more members meeting with members of Congress and sharing their stories about the challenges their companies face,” WMMA president Jamison Scott says. “These meetings help develop personal connections that allow our members to have more regular communication with our elected leaders and their staff.”

The WMMA’s next Legislative Fly-in is scheduled for June 7-8, 2016.

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This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue.

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