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The OPEI Ethanol Education and Consumer Protection program, Look Before You Pump, debuted at GIE+EXPO in late October. If you are a dealer, seller, retailer or manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, you may access valuable "Look Before You Pump" materials to help educate users of OPE on appropriate fuel selection in the face of higher ethanol blends entering the marketplace. Download and print equipment hang tags, fact sheets, posters, videos and more. Materials are available in English and Spanish. Get more information on the ethanol situation.

Congress is getting ready with conference committees to meet their deadline of December 13 for a budget “reconciliation” under the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014. Below are eight (8) links to YouTube videos created by the staff at the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), which is part of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.   Read More...

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ education campaign cautions consumers that it is harmful and illegal to use higher than 10 percent ethanol gas in any outdoor power equipment, such as mowers, chain saws, snow throwers, UTVs, generators and other small engine products.    Read More...

On Oct. 23, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (H.R. 3080) in resounding bipartisan fashion by a vote of 417-3, demonstrating that lawmakers can put aside their political differences to tackle our nation's challenges. The legislation provides $8 billion in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' construction programs and streamlines environmental reviews to speed project delivery. While similar to the Senate version (S. 601) passed in May, several key differences must be addressed before final legislation can be delivered to President Obama for his signature.   

The Congressional Research Service has issued a new report "Budget Issues Shaping a Farm Bill in 2013" on October 21, 2013. The report states:

The budget situation for the farm bill is more difficult this year than for recent farm bills because of attention to the federal debt. The desire by many to redesign farm policy and reallocate the remaining farm bill baseline—in a sequestration and deficit reduction environment—is driving much of the farm bill debate. Uncertainty persists about broader deficit reduction plans, some of
which have targeted agricultural and nutrition programs with mandatory funding. Much of that uncertainty affects the farm bill but is beyond the control of the agriculture committees. Moreover, some popular 2008 farm bill programs do not have a baseline that would provide continued funding and thus will require budgetary offsets to continue.   Read More...

For the last two years about this time, Jack Selzer, NAEDA’s Tax Attorney has provided the basic tax depreciation/expense rules that can help sales people in making new and used equipment sales before year end.  Because of some changes, it is timely to revisit these rules. 

There are two provisions we need to look at --

Section 179 expense deduction for new and used equipment.  The Section 179 deduction for 2013 is $500,000.  There is a “phase out” $ for $ after the purchase of $2,000,000 of new and/or used equipment.  This if a customer has $2,500,000 of purchases in 2013 there will be no Section 179 deduction.  This phase out shows that this deduction is designed for small and mid-sized businesses.
Bonus depreciation for new equipment.  Like last year, the extra additional bonus depreciation is 50% of the purchase price of new equipment.  Example – if a customer buys new equipment in 2013 for $600,000 the customer can take an extra $300,000 bonus depreciation deduction in 2013. 

Read more.   

The expiring farm bill is caught up in the drama of over passing a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond next Monday. Complicating the situation is the Republicans’ demand to cut spending and taxes, defunding the Affordable Care Act and the debt limit increase. The House also now needs to pass a procedural motion to combine the farm bill and the just-passed nutrition bill before farm bill conferees can be named.

Then the two bills will go to the Senate where they can accept them or reject them, which is most likely to mean a rejection to occur. After they reject them, they should ask for a conference. Then both the House and Senate will appoint conferees. Since they are not in session until Wednesday, it’s probably the following week before conferees can be appointed.

The House and Senate both make cuts in food stamps, but the level of those cuts is far apart. Both chambers also take a different policy approach to the commodity title. Depending on how these differences are worked out in the conference, will depend on whether the President will sign the final bill. Only time will tell that final outcome, but both the House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairs appear to remain committed to getting a farm bill on the books this year.   

Most dealers use and store hazardous chemicals in their workplace.  Products ranging from cleaners to lubricants to paint contain OSHA-regulated hazardous chemicals.  Dealers are not alone - OSHA estimates more than 5 million businesses in the United States use hazardous chemicals.  If you are like most dealers, OSHA’s recently revised Hazard Communication Standard applies to your business and you have work to do before December 1.   Read More...

Legislation was introduced last week by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) titled the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act. The bill limits the instances under which distributors and retailers could be subject to a product liability lawsuit. The legislation is similar to a bill NAEDA supported in 2007, but is slightly different than previous versions of the legislation. But, we believe it still does a good job of limiting the instances where sellers would be subject to product liability lawsuits.

Rep. Farenthold’s office has asked National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) to organize an industry letter in support of the bill of which NAEDA has agreed to sign-on to. Rep. Farenthold will also be circulating a Dear Colleague letter seeking cosponsors.

The bill was not introduced in the last Congress, but it was introduced in the 109th, 110th and 111th Congress.   

Saskatchewan equipment dealers are addressing a labor shortage by taking matters into its own hands. Saskatchewan is short about 400 agriculture machinery technicians, meaning farmers often lose valuable time waiting on help when equipment breaks down. The Canada West Equipment Dealers Association made a commitment of $57,000 to double the amount of spaces in the ag machinery tech program at SIAST. That will cover half the cost. The remainder will be picked up by the province and through student tuition.   Read More...

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From the NAEDA Office

Watch for publication of results from these surveys of NAEDA dealers.

In December 2013, NAEDA conducted a readership survey for our monthly publication, Equipment Dealer. The purpose of the survey was to identify whether our current editorial content was in line with readers’ needs, as well as solicit additional topic content for the future.   Read More...

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