Volume 16, Number 23, November 13, 2017
MLA Lumber Industry News Express
Here's the new issue of the Mid-America Lumbermens Association online newsletter. We'll send a new issue every two weeks to let you know what's happening in the industry, at your MLA, and in the world that affects your business. We welcome your opinions and ideas. If you have information you'd like to share with other members, we'd be happy to include it in our next issue. We welcome both personal and industry-related news - members would love to hear your news and views - so don't hesitate to email us with information.
Need Advanced Estimating Training?
MLA will conduct an Advanced Estimating Workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 11-12, in Moberly, Missouri, at Mid-Am Building Supply. In today’s highly competitive market, the success of a material supplier relies heavily on the ability to generate quick and accurate estimates. The ability to estimate the material costs of a project is an essential skill for those in the lumber business.

This class emphasizes the advanced skills needed in estimating material costs. Whether estimates are being generated by hand or by computer, there are basic principles that must be understood to produce a quality take-off. The basic math of quantity take-off methods dealing with length, area and volume and the basic business math of calculating the costs for material profit margin, add-ons, and discounts are some of these essential basics. Click here for complete information .
Legislative Alert: Take Action for Responsible Tax Reform
Proposed Changes to the Mortgage Interest Deduction & State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction Would Hurt the LBM Industry

NLBMDA urges its members take action now on responsible tax reform by contacting their representative and voicing their concerns about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). The legislation drastically changes the mortgage interest deduction and state and local tax (SALT) deduction, which would negatively affect residential housing, the lumber and building material (LBM) industry, and the economy overall.

The bill makes major changes to the mortgage interest deduction by lowering the amount of mortgage debt eligible from $1 million to $500,000. It also eliminates the interest deduction for mortgages on second homes and home equity loan debt, creating an artificial line of demarcation on home prices that could devalue equity for homeowners across the country and destabilize housing markets. At a minimum, any changes should set the cap high enough relative to the cost of living, and be indexed for inflation, so it is fair to households living in higher cost areas.
NLBMDA is in strong opposition to the proposed SALT deduction changes. It eliminates the itemized deductions for state and local income and sales taxes, but allows individuals to deduct up to $10,000 for property taxes. These changes would harm individuals living in areas with higher local and state taxes, and make it more difficult for businesses in those areas to retain and attract workers.

NLBMDA does strongly support several provisions in the legislation, including estate tax repeal, lowering the corporate income tax rate to 20 percent, and the immediate write-off of capital purchases (excluding land) through 2022. The association has been a tireless advocate for repealing the estate tax that is a burden on family-owned businesses, and maintains that making permanent the full expensing of business investments will provide businesses with greater certainty and predictability.

Tax reform is needed to increase economic growth and opportunity. NLBMDA will continue its work with Congress in advancing fiscal policies that help lumber dealers, their employees, and the housing industry. Unfortunately, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act misses the mark by placing too much burden on homeowners and would harm residential housing and construction.
Member News

Chic Lumber President Institutes Opioid Abuse Training After Son’s Overdose

Earlier this summer, Adam Hendrix, president of Chic Lumber in O'Fallon, Missouri, found his son after he had overdosed from heroin. Hendrix administered CPR while first responders administered Narcan, a nasal spray that is used to block the effects of opioids. Unfortunately for Hendrix, it was too late to save his son Justin. But now Adam is taking steps to ensure no one at his company suffers the same fate. Read more .

Source: ProSales Magazine, November 2, 2017
Time to Consider the MLA MEP
MLA has offered a “group” MLA 401(k) plan for members for more than two years. It is saving participating dealers on their fees and offering a great benefit to reward their loyal employees. If you haven’t taken a serious look at this program, now would be a good time. Find out why smart dealers are making the move to the MLA program. Call the MLA Hotline at 800-747-6529, or click here to learn more .
Lumber News

The Blind Side – Is Your A/R Program Saving Customers Time and Effort? I loved the book The Blind Side about the discovery of future NFL left tackle, Michael Oher, written by Michael Lewis and later adapted into a blockbuster movie starring Sandra Bullock…. B2B businesses have a blind side too: it’s their customer experience with their A/R program. The largest customers typically represent a significant portion of a B2B business’s revenue. Read more .
Source: Scott Simpson, Blue Tarp, October 11, 2017

Westlake Grabs a Slice of Chicago… Westlake agreed to acquire the seven-store Chicago-area hardware store in a deal expected to be completed on Jan. 2. With this acquisition, Westlake will operate 115 retail hardware locations in the U.S.  Read more .
Source: HBS Dealer, November 2, 2017

House Passes Joint Employer Bill, Providing Certainty for Small Businesses… The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today commended the House for passing the bipartisan Save Local Business Act, legislation that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act to restore a common sense joint employer standard for home building firms and other small businesses. Read more .
Source: NAHB, November 8, 2017
Seasonal Driving - Winter Driving Safety

With the changing of the seasons, driving risks also change. Winter brings increased risk from a weather and daylight standpoint. We’ll discuss the risks specific to driving in rain, sleet, snow, ice, fog, and wind. In addition, we’ll discuss how fewer daylight hours can contribute to increased fatigue and other risks. Advance registration required. Click here to register now .

This service provided courtesy of Federated Mutual Insurance Company, your association’s recommended insurer.
The Last Word (in honor of Veterans' Day)

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”
- Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf   
Mid-America Lumbermens Association | 800-747-6529 | 816-561-1249 (fax)| ruhler@themla.com | Website