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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Jan. 11, 2013
 
 
 


'Fiscal cliff' legislation
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On Jan. 1, the House of Representatives approved the Senate passed version of HR 8, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The legislation passed the Senate by a 29 vote margin (89 to 8) and the House by a 42 vote margin (257 to 167). Even though the Republicans control the House, the measure only received the support of 85 House Republicans. The legislation includes many tax-related portions, including keeping the Bush era tax cuts in place, and making them permanent, for individuals making less than $400,000 (filing as individual) and couples making less than $450,000 (filing jointly). It also makes permanent the fixes for the Alternative Minimum Tax. An explanation of key provisions important to NAMA members may be found here. A more detailed explanation of the legislation can be found at here, and the text of the legislation can be found here. For more information, please contact Eric Dell at edell@vending.org.


Research study finds majority against taxes and limits on soda and snack foods
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The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reports that one-third of people believe the government should find solutions to the obesity epidemic, including making schools provide more physical activity and making nutritional guidelines available. But almost six in 10 people are against taxes on so-called unhealthful foods, such as soda or snack food. Seventy-five percent are opposed to limits on what foods or beverages people are allowed to purchase, such as New York City's ban of soft drinks over 16 ounces. Many people still believe that curbing obesity is up to each individual. The poll results show the limitations for changing the way Americans view obesity and its causes. For more information, please contact Eric Dell at edell@vending.org.


Caffeine limits in beverages sold in Canada
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New rules which limit the amount of caffeine per can or single-serve energy drink bottle to 180 mg went into effect in Canada on Jan. 1. The new rules will require energy drink makers to reformulate drinks that do not currently comply with the limit. Only reformulated versions can be produced, though drinks currently in stock may be sold. Additionally, popular energy drinks which were previously categorized as "natural health products," are now being reclassified as "food," and will fall under the new caffeine cap. For the next five years, energy drink makers must report annual data on sales, consumption and health incidents in Canada. NAMA closely monitors legislation that may affect the vending and refreshment industries in the U.S. For more information, please contact Eric Dell at edell@vending.org.



Minimum wage rates increase in several states
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The following states raised their minimum wages as of Jan. 1:

Arizona, 15 cents to $7.80
Colorado, 14 cents to $7.78
Florida, 12 cents to $7.79
Missouri, 10 cents to $7.35
Montana, 15 cents to $7.80
Ohio, 15 cents to $7.85
Oregon, 15 cents to $8.95
Rhode Island, 35 cents to $7.75
Vermont, 14 cents to $8.60
Washington, 15 cents to $9.19

For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.



Arkansas: KAMC Annual Convention and Legislative Day
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AVC, the Arkansas Vending Council has scheduled its Legislative Day/Annual Convention & Membership Meeting in Little Rock on February 20 and 21. For more information please contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonghan@vending.org.


Iowa: Bottle deposit bill expansion resumes discussion
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When Iowa passed its Beverage Container Deposit Law in May 1979, the five-cent deposit was limited to only beer and soft drink containers. A few short months later, the bill was expanded to include wine and liquor bottles. In the 2013 legislative session, there is once again expected to be a push from the Iowa Recycling Association for the legislature to expand the law to include bottled water, tea, sports drinks and other non-carbonated beverages, with the exception of milk and juice. If lawmakers expand the bill, there is also discussion of increasing the current one-cent per container handling fee that redemption centers receive from distributors, to ensure that the fee sufficiently covers the costs incurred by the centers that collect the cans and bottles. For additional information, contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Kentucky: Vending sales tax exemption bill introduced
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On Jan. 8, State Rep. Steve Riggs (D) formally introduced HB 62 in the Kentucky House of Representatives to exempt food through vending machines from the state’s retail sales tax. The bill was originally pre-filed by Rep. Riggs on Dec. 14, 2012. The current statute (KRS 139.485(3)(f)) states that food sold through vending machines or non-mechanical self-service vending systems shall be subject to the 6 percent retail sales tax. The 6 percent sales tax is untenable for many Kentucky vending operators and businesses who have seen their profit margins become negatively affected by the changes in economy and declining sales. Accordingly, HB 62 seeks to amend the language of KRS 139.485(4) to specifically exempt products sold through vending machines from the 6 percent sales tax. The bill has been referred to the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee for review. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


Kentucky: Legislative Day
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KAMC, the Kentucky Automatic Merchandising Council plans its Legislative Day in Frankfort on Feb. 13. For more information, please contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Michigan: Clarification to right to work law
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Regarding the ballot veto options available in Michigan, as reported in the last NAMA Legislative Newsletter, please note there was a state-wide vote on the November ballot in Michigan to protect collective bargaining in the Constitution. Despite the significant amounts of money spent by Labor in support of the measure, it was soundly defeated. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Nebraska: Proposed end to soda tax exemption
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The Nebraska press reports that Lincoln state senator Bill Avery will sponsor a measure that would end the Nebraska sales tax exemption for soda pop. Senator Avery filed a similar bill last year. NAMA will be tracking this issue and will keep members updated. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


New York: Sales tax relief bill vetoed by governor
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Legislation which would have exempted food and beverages sold from vending machines for $1.50 or less from the sales and use tax was vetoed by Governor Cuomo on Dec. 17. The New York State Automatic Vending Association has devoted five years to this effort. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


New York: Public food vending business grading system
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NY S 814, which establishes a public food vending business grading system for cities with a population of one million or more, has been introduced with the Senate Committee on Health. For more information, please contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Tennessee: Legislative Day
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TAMA, the Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association Legislative Day is scheduled in Nashville on Feb. 19. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Texas: Texas Merchandise Vending Association to hold Legislative Day Jan. 30
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The Texas Merchandise Vending Association will hold a legislative day at the Texas State Capitol in Austin Texas on Jan. 30. The event will include a legislative breakfast and visits with representatives throughout the capitol. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Washington: Governor includes a tax on carbonated beverages in proposed budget
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In her final budget, Gov. Chris Gregoire has included a proposal to place a tax on carbonated beverages ($57 million) and repeal the sales tax exemption on all candy and gum. The details of her budget can be found here. Gov. Gregoire's budget represents her final recommendations; it is not indicative of what will actually happen in the legislature. Governor-elect Jay Inslee has made clear that he is not interested in new taxes. At this point, there does not appear to be any momentum building in the legislature or with the incoming governor behind these tax proposals. NAVA and NAMA will continue to monitor and work to prevent these taxes from taking place in the legislative arena. For more information, please contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
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