From NAM: Ford: SUVs, Crossovers Will Drive Growth

The Detroit Free Press (5/30, Priddle) reports, “A decade ago an SUV meant a big, body-on-frame vehicle that could tow a trailer over a dirt road. Today, automakers think of utilities as small, sometimes-luxury vehicles that replace large or midsize cars.” The Press reports, “Global sales of utility vehicles now account for 13 million sales a year, or 18% of the worldwide market. That is 35% more than in 2005.” To meet “growing global demand, Ford is stepping up exports and building more of its utilities in emerging markets such as China and Russia. Today, Ford exports one of every four Explorers it makes and plans to offer it in 27 countries by 2017,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s sales analyst said. The Louisville (KY) Business First (5/29, Subscription Publication) reports, “The subcompact EcoSport and the larger compact Escape — or Kuga as it is known in international markets — represents Ford’s small utility vehicle offerings. Earlier this month, Ford reported that the Escape set a

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AIM objects to premise of governor’s press statement on HB 253

It appears House Bill 253, the broad-based tax cut plan of 2013 has a drafting error that can and should be fixed by the state legislature. But that is not an excuse for Governor Nixon to veto the bill. That’s the reaction of Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty, one of the main architects of the first business and personal income tax rate cut since the 1920’s. On Thursday, Governor Nixon’s office issued a statement to the press that insinuated the legislation purposely repealed the exemption from sales tax of prescription drugs. McCarty says that’s far from the truth. “We take exception to the premise of the governor’s press statement which is that the General Assembly intentionally passed language to repeal the sales tax exemption for prescription drugs,” said McCarty. “The language in question is language that we understood came from the governor’s own Department of Revenue, which assured us on many occasions that the language was correct.” The

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Congressman Long begins annual manufacturing tour

On its website, KOAM-TV Pittsburg (KS) Joplin, MO (5/30) reports Missouri congressman Billy Long “began his ‘manufacturing tour’ across southwest Missouri, aimed at talking about the importance of manufacturing in the area.” Rep. Long said, “We really like to get out and talk to the employees and the owners of these facilities to see what exactly their needs are and what we’re doing to them in Washington that can help them or is hurting them.” The report notes that, according “to the National Association of Manufacturers, southwest Missouri is home to 449 manufacturing facilities that employ 10 or more workers.” The Joplin (MO) Globe (5/30, Kennedy) reports, “Long, embarking on his annual manufacturing tour, stopped at La-Z-Boy Midwest in Neosho, at MSW Restaurant Furnishings in rural Joplin, and at Red Monkey Foods in Mount Vernon. He will visit manufacturing companies in Bolivar and Springfield today.”

AIM Quotes Kennedy in Letter to Gov. Nixon on Tax Cut Bill

May 29, 2013 Dear Governor Nixon, As Missouri’s premier business trade association, we strongly urge you to sign House Bill 253. Today is the late President John F. Kennedy’s birthday. Nearly 50 years ago, in a radio and television address broadcast on September 18, 1963, then-President Kennedy said, “A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.” While the times have changed, the economic concept of increasing government revenues by allowing taxpayers to choose how to spend or invest more of their money is just as applicable for

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AIM Letter to Gov. Nixon on Environmental Bill

May 29, 2013 The Honorable Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon Governor of Missouri P.O. Box 720 Jefferson City, MO 65102 RE: House Bill 650 Dear Governor Nixon, As Missouri’s premier business trade association, we strongly urge you to sign House Bill 650. The bill would resolve long-standing issues concerning the procedure by which permit fees are adjusted. This bill creates a process whereby the Hazardous Waste, Air Conservation and Clean Water Commissions set fees based upon stakeholder agreement and a two-thirds majority commission vote. This statutory scheme for setting permit fees has a ten year sunset at which time lawmakers may reassess whether this new process has been successful. We believe allowing stakeholders a voice in permit fees is important. The bill streamlines the water permitting process by combining the construction and operating permit review processes. Industrial facilities are required to obtain an operating permit, but must design all construction activities in accordance with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)

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NAM: April existing home sales rose by 9.7 percent

The Wall Street Journal (5/23, Portlock, Zibel, Subscription Publication) reports that April’s existing home sales were at the highest level since August 2008; in addition, the number of foreclosures which were sold fell. The AP (5/23) reports that according to the NAR, existing home “sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, up from 4.94 million in March.” USA Today (5/23, Schmit) reports that compared to March, home sales in April were 0.6% higher; data also show the housing inventory increased by 12% in April, expanding “to a 5.2-month supply from 4.7 months in March,” meaning that “all the homes would sell in that time-frame if no new supply was added.” Bloomberg News (5/23, Woellert) reports that the figures were slightly lower than experts had predicted. “The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for U.S. sales of existing homes to pick up to a 4.99 million pace.” The Los Angeles Times (5/23, Lazo) quote NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun as saying, “The

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Senator Blunt, expresses concerns about Obama administration’s attempts to ban new coal fired power plants

In a letter to President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined five of his Missouri Republican colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to express their continued concerns surrounding the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations, which would effectively ban the construction of new coal fired power plants. The proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would establish unprecedented Greenhouse Gas (GHG) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for power plants. In the letter, the Missouri lawmakers called on President Obama and his administration to amend the proposed rule and utilize a technology-based approach to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – an option that would not harm the economy or endanger the nation’s electricity supply. “If adopted, the proposed EPA rule will effectively ban new coal fired power plants from being built. By EPA’s own admission, the rule as proposed would increase the cost of electricity generated from a coal plant by 80%,” the Missouri Members wrote. “Already, existing EPA regulations will prevent

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AIM establishes YouTube page

In a continuing effort to bring you AIM’s message and show you our activities, we have set up our own YouTube page. We are still in our experimental stage at the moment, but we encourage you to go to the page at from time to time and check out the content. If you subscribe to the page, you will get an email when we post updates, and we will also keep you posted on updates on Twitter and Facebook. Currently, we have a short welcome and introduction to Associated Industries from AIM President Ray McCarty, and another video features Ray explaining the broad-based tax cut bill, HB 253.

Sign up now for 2013 AIM Legislative Session Wrap-up Regional Event

Join us when we are in your area!  If you are interested in learning about the results from the 2013 Legislative Session, please join us at any of the Legislative Wrap-Up Regional Events listed below.  Ray McCarty, AIM President, will be giving an update about Workers’ Compensation, the Second Injury Fund, Tax Cuts, Unemployment Improvements and Employment Law Changes. PRICING: AIM Members – $15 per person Non AIM Members – $20 per person Lunch will be provided at no additional charge.  All events are from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. June 3, 2013 – St. Louis – St. Louis Community College June 4, 2013 – Kansas City – Cerner Corporation June 5, 2013 – Sedalia – Workforce Development Board June 6, 2013 – Cape Girardeau – Cape Chamber of Commerce June 7, 2013 – Springfield – Hemingway’s Restaurant June 10, 2013 – Lebanon – Lebanon Chamber of Commerce June 11, 2013 – Northeast – BASF Corporation June 12, 2013 –

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AIM President Ray McCarty appears on the KZIM Morning Meeting in Cape Girardeau

Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty spent part of Wednesday morning, May 22, on the air in Cape Girardeau on the popular Morning Meeting program on KZIM Radio. Ray spent about 15 minutes talking about key legislation passed during the recently completed legislative session with host Faune Riggin. Included is a discussion on House Bill 253, the broad-based tax cut of 2013. To listen to the interview, click on the KZIM logo below.