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Obama Vetoes Anti-WOTUS Measure
President Obama delivered an expected veto on January 19th of a congressional resolution that would kill the administration's “Waters of the United States” rule redefining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. “Because this resolution seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny businesses and communities the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water, I cannot support it,” Obama said in his veto message.
Republicans were unable to muster veto-proof, two-thirds majorities in either the House and Senate, but GOP leaders believe the measure will serve to highlight election-year differences between the parties. The WOTUS rule took effect last August, but courts have put it on hold nationwide while legal challenges are considered. The White House blocked Republicans from using the fiscal 2016 omnibus spending bill to ensure that the rule couldn't be enforced if the courts lift the stay.
EDA Sponsors 2016 State Agriculture and Rural Leaders Conference
On January 7th through the 10th, hundreds of state government and provincial leaders, from the United States and Canada, gathered in Denver to discuss ongoing issues facing rural and agricultural regions. EDA’s VP of Government Relations, Natalie Higgins, participated in the three day event. The conference featured a day of agricultural touring where legislators visited a marijuana growing facility, a commercial bakery and a cheese manufacturer.
The legislators then enjoyed presentations and group discussions on multiple issues including state water quality efforts and innovations, farmland taxation developments, energy policy innovations, the anticipated effects of the Trans Pacific Partnership on the agricultural industry, the threat and development of avian flu, challenges in animal agriculture and much more.
EDA’s sponsorship of the event allowed many state and provincial officials to attend this educational conference, free of charge. Check out EDA’s Facebook page for photographs from the event.
Depreciation Bonus Website Updated
AED has revamped and updated its DepreciationBonus.org site to include information about the recently-enacted Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act. Dealers are encouraged to visit the site to view the highlights of the legislation.
Trade Benefits America Coalition Supports TPP
Calls For Passage In 2016
David Thomas, President of the Trade Benefits America Coalition –a broad-based group of more than 275 associations, businesses and agricultural groups, of which EDA is a member – issued the attached statement announcing the Coalition’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
FedEx Get Ready Sweepstakes
Register to Win
Get ready to win! FedEx is giving EDA Members a chance to win up to $10,000, plus over 100 other prizes, in the $25,000 Get Ready Sweepstakes. Enroll in the EDA Shipping Program by visiting PartnerShip.com/EDA, to be automatically entered in the sweepstakes. If you are already enrolled in this free member benefit, simply register for the sweepstakes.
EDA Dealer Manufacturer Relations Survey In Progress
Don't Forget to Participate
Time is running down towards the ending of the data collection process for the EDA Dealer Manufacturer Relations Survey. Links to the on-line survey questionnaire have been distributed to dealers via email. Please check your email Inbox for the survey link from the Equipment Dealers Association. If you haven't found the link in your Inbox please check your Junk and or Spam folders. All EDA members should have received the survey link. If you have not please contact Joe Dykes at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.
The purpose of the survey is to measure the level of satisfaction dealers have with their equipment manufacturers. Results from this survey are used as the basis for discussions with equipment manufacturers and by manufacturers to assess strengths and weakness in business operations and dealer relations.
The report contains important feedback and information about the relationship between dealers and their suppliers. Both the manufacturers and the dealers have found the data useful for improving product and service quality and promoting top-ranked products to consumers. Survey data will also be used to select the EDA Dealer's Choice Award which recognizes companies that have done an exemplary job in the key areas related to the dealer’s business operational model.
Please take time to participate in this valuable and important survey.
Ritchie Bros. Reports On Auctions For 2015
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated, reports selling approximately $4.25 billion of equipment through 345 unreserved auctions and its online equipment marketplace during 2015. This is a new annual record for the Company, and represents a 1% increase in gross auction proceeds (GAP) compared to 2014. GAP growth from Ritchie Bros.’ international operations was muted by the depreciation of local currencies against the US dollar. On an organic basis, using foreign exchange rates consistent with comparable periods last year to remove the negative translational impact of reporting in US dollars, GAP grew 8% in 2015 compared to 2014. To read the complete press release click here.
EDA’s 2015 Activity Summaries Available
In Case You Missed Them
EDA's staff along with association executives were very busy in 2015 concerning legislative and lobbying work and in manufacturer relations efforts. We wish to thank the association executives and the dealers who participated at every level. Without everyone's assistance our successes could not have been possible. A review of the activities and successes can be found for Manufacturer Relations and Government Relations by clicking on the corresponding link.
We also want to highlight the activities of EDA’s Foundation of supporting member's employees with scholarship grants and financial assistance when natural disaster unfortunately strikes. None of this would be possible without the continued support of our dealer members, the companies you represent and industry partners. A summary of 2015 EDF activity can be found here.
Permanent Section 179 Tax Relief and Bonus Depreciation Signed into Law
The "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015”, a piece of legislation containing the Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation measures championed by EDA through its extensive lobbying efforts, was signed into law by the President. His signature marks an impressive win for EDA’s Members across the country.
A detailed summary of the bonus depreciation and Sec. 179 provisions can be viewed below.
Bonus Depreciation. The law extends bonus depreciation for property acquired and placed in service during 2015 through 2019 (with an additional year for certain property with a longer production period). The bonus depreciation percentage is 50 percent for property placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017 and phases down, with 40 percent in 2018, and 30 percent in 2019.
Sec. 179 expensing levels. The law now permanently extends the small business expensing limitation and phase-out amounts in effect from 2010 to 2014 ($500,000 and $2 million, respectively). It also modifies the expensing limitation by indexing both the $500,000 and $2 million limits for inflation beginning in 2016.
EPA Finalizes Increases in Renewable Fuel Levels
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program Monday for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and final volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 to 2017. This rule finalizes higher volumes of renewable fuel than the levels EPA proposed in June, boosting renewable production and providing support for robust, achievable growth of the biofuels industry. “The biofuel industry is an incredible American success story, and the RFS program has been an important driver of that success—cutting carbon pollution, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and sparking rural economic development,” said Janet McCabe, the acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “With today’s final rule, and as Congress intended, EPA is establishing volumes that go beyond historic levels and grow the amount of biofuel in the market over time. Our standards provide for ambitious, achievable growth.”
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From the NAEDA Office
A Brief Respite From Task Group Updates
Legislative and educational opportunities within the coming months.
Last month, I promised an update on the progress of the Governance/Structure Task Group. However, this month, I need to briefly change the focus of this column in order to provide timely information on a couple of upcoming opportunities.
Free Webinar to Watch on How to Achieve Greater Success in Hiring National Guard Members and Other Veterans