Homeownership, a recovery of the housing market, and pro-business policies will lead the national policy agenda for the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) during 2012, the association announced today.
In regards to homeownership, the association said it will continue to support responsible homeownership and lending practices. The NLBMDA continues to oppose efforts to repeal the mortgage interest deduction and supports reinstating higher conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration insured home loans.
“NLBMDA supports sound fiscal policies to support America’s housing recovery and restore housing as the cornerstone of our national economy,” the association said.
On the business front, the NLBMDA will back tax policies that do not disadvantage family-owned businesses and which “level the playing field” for small businesses in general. The association will stand against tax hikes on small businesses and is for a repeal of the estate tax as part of its 2012 policies.
It also remains concerned about the burden its members face in trying to meet the requirements of the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act and backs reforms to lessen the legislation’s affect on employers’ ability to provide required benefit to workers.
The NLBMDA shared its stance regarding protecting dealers from unforeseen issues with the products they sell. The Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, which recently has gotten play following a number of defective Chinese drywall lawsuits, is another area the association is focusing on. The association said it will support any “legislation that would hold sellers harmless when they have not acted negligently in the design, manufacture, sale, or installation of a legal product.”
In its continued crusade against overregulation, the association cited the Evironmental Protection Agency’s Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule as an example of such excess and said it will work with the appropriate oversight committees to reduce the affects of such overreaching legislation.
“The NLBMDA believes new environmental regulations must reflect sounds science and take into account the impact of the regulated community,” the association said.
Finally, the NLBMDA will take on transportation policy by calling for more consideration of short-haul carriers, under which almost all industry delivery drivers fall, when devising new safety regulations.
“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not differentiate between long haul and local carriers when drafting or enforcing safety regulations, which requires lumber dealers to expend considerable time and effort to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant regulations,” said the NLBMDA.
This agenda will be distributed to members of Congress and key people in the Obama administration. The NLBMDA intends for its members to use this agenda as a guide when visiting with members of Congress during the NLBMDA Spring Meeting and Legislative Congress in March.
“With the House and Senate going into the final session of the 112th Congress, many are rightly focused on reviewing and eliminating burdensome regulations, and NLBMDA will do all we can to assist policymakers, as they pull off the wet blanket from our business, in order to bring about an economic recovery,” said Cally Fromme, NLBMDA chair and executive vice president of Zarsky Lumber in Victoria, Texas.