During the first week of April, leaders of the PHCP and PVF industry will be front and center advocating on issues important to suppliers and manufacturers. For the first time, American Supply Association and Plumbing Manufacturers International will join forces at our industry’s Legislative Fly-In April 9-10 in Washington, D.C.
“Following on our tremendous momentum from last year’s convention, ASA is pleased to welcome PMI to this fight during this very influential time,” said Mike Adelizzi, ASA’s executive vice president.
PMI CEO/Executive Director Barbara C. Higgens added, “PMI member executives look forward to teaming up with ASA on issues critical to our businesses this April and making our voices heard on Capitol Hill.
Over the course of two days, attendees will hear from a member of Congress, a political analyst on the 2014 midterm elections and policy experts about the issues affecting our industry. On the second day, members will spend the day on Capitol Hill in prescheduled meetings with legislators and their staff to advocate for policies that will create jobs and reinvigorate the economy. This information-packed meeting is NOT to be missed.
The focus of this year’s efforts will be on:
- Renewing expired tax breaks;
- Infrastructure investment and retrofits with high-efficiency plumbing products;
- Regulatory reform; and
- Marketplace Fairness Act.
The R&D tax credit and 179 expensing have expired, and there is little doubt businesses such as ours will feel the pinch and be faced with larger tax bills in 2014. Congress must address and reinstate these provisions before it is too late.
Other issues include the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, as well as addressing issues such as responsible retrofitting of water products.Before pursuing new efficiency standards, our industry can educate Congress on the fact that market penetration for existing high-efficiency products remains as low as 5%.
PMI estimates at least 3 billion gal. of water per day in savings would be achieved – about 7% of total publicly supplied water – by retrofitting pre-1992 toilets, showerheads, faucets and urinals in residences and buildings with products meeting the current law, as well as WaterSense-labeled products.
“I look forward to bringing this message to the Hill alongside our customers and channel partners in distribution,” said Todd Talbot, president of Fluidmaster.
Marketplace Fairness Act
Another issue important to preserving the traditional distribution channel is passing the Marketplace Fairness Act. For too long, Internet sellers have gotten away with an unfair price advantage. Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, they do not have to collect and remit sales taxes, giving them an 8% to 10% price advantage.
“The marketplace has changed from what it was a decade ago. Now, we’re seeing Internet retailers coming up with virtual representations of bathrooms for customers and showing them what their new bathroom is going to look like right there on the computer screen. What happens to the wholesaler? What does the Internet mean to brick-and-mortar businesses five years down the road?”asked 2014 ASA President
John Strong (President of Indianapolis-based Economy Plumbing Supply).
We believe the wholesaler can win on product knowledge, but with the Internet effectively eliminating overhead, coupled with the price advantage allowed by government policies, now is the time to confront this issue once and for all.
Mark your calendars to join us in April and encourage others to participate as well. To learn more about the ASA-PMI Legislative Fly-In, please contact Dan Hilton with ASA at firstname.lastname@example.org Stephanie Salmon with PMI at email@example.com.