Dalton–The World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) continues its efforts to ensure its members are represented and heard in Washington, D.C., and state capitals. Scott Humphrey, WFCA CEO; Jeffrey King, WFCA general counsel; and LobbyIt, the association’s retained lobbying group based in Washington, regularly meet with congressional senators and representatives, their staffs and various regulatory agencies, to review and comment on proposed legislation and regulations as well as work with members to advocate for the professional flooring dealer and contractor.
In addition to advocating on the topics released in August 2018, below is an update on some additional key activities and proposals WFCA has been focused on throughout 2018:
Tax reform. WFCA continues to be actively involved in advocating for tax reform across the country. One central concern of this effort has been to ensure Subchapter S Corporations, and not just C corporations, saw a tax cut under the tax reform that passed in Congress late last year. The new law makes it more complicated to determine whether a flooring dealer or contractor should elect to pay taxes at the new 21% C Corporation rate or should pass through all the company’s income to the owners like a S Corporation with the 20% deduction from company’s qualified income. To assist in determining what is best for each dealer, WFCA has published an explanation of the new law and identified the factors to consider in making the choice in the current and next issue of its magazine, Premier Flooring Retailer.
Federal apprenticeship programs. WFCA attended meetings with the recently created Federal Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. The Task Force produced a series of recommendations to the Department of Labor and the President on ways to expand industry-led apprenticeship programs. LobbyIt is assisting WFCA’s research efforts into the possibility of setting up such a program with federal funds to attract and train new flooring installers.
State action. WFCA continues to monitor state actions on issues that impact its members, like independent contractor laws and workers’ compensation proposals. In particular, WFCA has been reviewing California’s Carpet Stewardship Program and proposed increases in the assessment on carpet sold in California and its labeling requirements under Proposition 65. The WFCA is also opposing the recent California Supreme Court decision adopting a new very stringent test for independent contractors and discussing supporting litigation filed against the new test.
Small business. As part of a concerted effort to support the local retailer, the WFCA plays an active role with the Small Business Administration’s Roundtable where issues that impact flooring dealers and contractors are regularly discussed. WFCA also assists members on a local level in preparations for town and state led meetings of the Small Business Administration where they are able to discuss overbearing regulations on a regional level.
Association health plans. WFCA has been active in advocating to allow associations, such as WFCA and Certified Flooring Installers (CFI), to offer health insurance plans to its members. As a result of the U.S. President’s Executive Order on providing more flexibility to the health insurance marketplace, the Department of Labor issued a proposed regulation to allow employers of all sizes to band together to purchase large group health plans.
WFCA submitted detailed comments to the agency largely supporting the effort, with a number of suggestions to improve the opportunities to offer affordable health insurance to its members. Many of WFCA’s suggestions were incorporated into the final regulation, which was released in June of this year. Following this ruling the WFCA immediately began work on identifying an affordable health plan to offer its members and their employees.
Updates on WFCA and LobbyIt’s efforts with constituents in Washington DC and across the country will continue on a periodical basis. For more information, visit: wfca.org/page/current-legislative-action.