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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Feb. 18, 2011
 
 
 


High Priority:
NAMA working to repeal new IRS 1099 burdens

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The National Automatic Merchandising Association continues to work on repealing costly new IRS reporting burdens. NAMA staff has been meeting with Members of Congress, and just this week co-signed a letter to the U.S. Congress signed by more than 1,000 associations. NAMA is working to repeal a new IRS form 1099 reporting burden which will require every company to report all transactions which are cumulatively over $600 in a year. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Take Action NOW!
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Will you send a letter to your Member of Congress asking them to repeal new IRS 1099 burdens? This new regulatory burden will go into effect on January 1, unless Congress acts. President Obama and the U.S. Senate support repeal. Now you can help urge the U.S. House to also repeal. The U.S. House may vote TODAY for repeal. Click here to send an email to your Member of Congress TODAY.


FDA: No calorie disclosure enforcement for vending until 2012
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FDA: No calorie disclosure enforcement for vending until 2012 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued information which indicates that no enforcement of calorie disclosure in vending regulations will occur until 2012. “In the Federal Register of January 25, 2011 (76 FR 4360), FDA announced the withdrawal of this draft guidance and its intention to complete the notice-and-comment rulemaking process for section 4205 before initiating enforcement activities based, in part, on extensive comments on the draft guidance submitted to the Agency.” The FDA indicates it will promulgate vending calorie disclosure rules by March 23, 2011, but Final Rules won’t be put into place until 2012. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


FDA requests $4.3 billion budget, including $8.8 million for calorie disclosure
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a $4.3 billion request in President Obama’s budget submitted to Congress this week. This is a 33 percent increase over 2010 spending, with the largest spending increase for a particular program requested for the department’s Transforming Food Safety and Nutrition Initiative, which includes funding provisions for the new food safety legislation that was signed into law by President Obama on January 4. According to a statement by the FDA, the budget request if funded will “empower Americans to make more healthful food choices through menu and vending machine labelling.” For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.


Obama proposes permanent extension of R&E tax credit
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President Obama’s budget request to Congress includes a proposal to make the Research and Experimentation credit permanent and increase the rate of the alternative simplified research credit from 14 percent to 17 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2012. The R&E tax credit is currently scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2011. The R&E tax credit encourages technological developments that are an important component of economic growth. However, uncertainty about the future availability of the R&E tax credit diminishes the incentive effect of the credit because it is difficult for taxpayers to factor the credit into decisions to invest in research projects that will not be initiated and completed prior to the credit’s expiration. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.



Beverage industry launches front-of-package calorie labels
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The American Beverage Association has unveiled a front-of-packaging calorie disclosure program. Clear on Calories is a voluntary initiative which could assist with soon to be announced federal calorie disclosure regulations. The beverage companies have pledged to display calorie counts in the following ways:
  1. Product Labels: Total calorie counts on the front of all containers up to and including 20 fluid ounces, containers larger than 20 fluid ounces will be labeled per 12 fluid ounce serving for all beverages except 100 percent juices and juice beverages — per FDA request — will be labeled per 8 fluid ounce serving size.
  2. Company-controlled vending machines: Total calorie counts per container displayed on selection buttons, or when infeasible, in close proximity to the specific selection.
  3. Company-controlled fountain equipment: Calorie counts displayed prominently.



DOE issues rules for testing of vending machines and annual certification
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The Department of Energy has issued rules related to the testing of energy consumption for refrigerated beverage vending machines. The DOE has decided to adopt several enforcement sampling provisions that take account of low-volume or built-to-order consumer products and commercial equipment. First, DOE specifies provisions for certain covered products and equipment where there is a lower volume market and manufacturing tends to be more customized. These include automatic commercial ice makers, commercial refrigeration equipment, refrigerated bottled or canned vending machines, commercial HVAC and WH equipment, and distribution transformers. The initial sample size of these units matches that of high-volume consumer and commercial equipment, which is four units. Second, DOE is including a provision that provides for testing of fewer than four units if they are unavailable at the time the test notice is received. While these provisions were proposed in the September 2010 NOPR, DOE has attempted to clarify them to aid manufacturers in determining the exact sample size required for enforcement testing depending on product or equipment type. Finally, DOE has also included a general provision applicable to all covered products and covered equipment, which allows DOE to use its discretion in determining the sample size when covered products and covered equipment are generally unavailable. DOE will use many of the considerations that interested parties noted above in their comments, including the availability of units and the availability of third-party testing facilities to run the DOE test procedure. The document, with requirements including annual certification, can be found here.


NAMA has fund to elect federal candidates
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Your association has a federal Political Action Committee, the NAMA-PAC, which raises personal donations from individuals at member companies of NAMA. The PAC helps elect members of Congress who support the legislative agenda of the vending, coffee and foodservice industries. Your NAMA-PAC is supervised by a bi-partisan team, and donations are approved by members. For additional information on your NAMA-PAC please contact Ned Monroe at nmonroe@vending.org.



Arizona: AAMC to hold annual legislative breakfast
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The Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council will hold its annual legislative breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 24, at Tom's Tavern in downtown Phoenix at 7:30 a.m. The speaker for the meeting will be Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard. AAMC will hold a Board of Directors meeting in conjunction with the breakfast. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Arizona: Bill introduced to create jobs and encourage business expansion and relocation
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Senate Bill 1001, which was introduced this week, is the result of talks over a period of months and represents consensus among the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President on ways to put Arizona back to work and make Arizona a magnet for business expansion, relocation, capital formation and investment. The key provisions of the bill include: reducing the corporate income tax rate to 4.9 percent from 6.968 percent, increasing the sales factor to 100 percent from 80 percent increasing the business personal property tax exemption to $79,000 from $67,000, replacing the state enterprise zone program with tax incentives of $9,000 over three years for new "high-quality" jobs , defined as those with a "median wage" equal to that of the county, and the employer paying at least 65 percent of employees' health care costs, and phases in a reduction in the commercial property tax assessment ratio to 18 percent from 20 percent, and the agricultural property tax rate to 15 percent from 16 percent. There will be an increase in the homeowner property tax rebates to offset the shifting of the tax burden to residential property. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Colorado: Sales tax exemption for soft drinks
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Colorado House Bill 1162, if passed, would reinstate the sales tax exemption for soft drinks sold through vending machines. This bill makes legislative findings and declarations regarding the lack of benefits arising from the taxation of soft drinks and the costs to consumers, businesses, employees, and the state of sales and use taxes that are too high or that are imposed on products for which demand is price sensitive. If passed the bill would remove the tax on soft drinks in vending and other retail channels. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Georgia, South Carolina, Florida & Mississippi: Economy causes increase in vending thefts
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In response to theft rings that have sprung up in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and other states, vending operators have installed wireless warning devices. When a vending door is opened at unauthorized times or power is cut, the operator receives a text message and email. For additional information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Iowa: House committee approves tax cut
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The Iowa House Ways and Means Committee has approved a 20 percent, across-the-board state income tax cut. Under House File 4, the current individual income tax rates, which now range from 0.36 percent to 8.98 percent, would be reduced to a range of 0.28 percent to 7.18 percent. House Republicans said they plan to replace the $200 million in lost revenue with budget reductions that are included in House File 45, which would eliminate funding for universal preschool, a smoking cessation program and passenger rail, and would also cut funding for higher education and family planning services. The bill now moves to the full House. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Kansas: House implements pay-go provision
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The Kansas House has implemented a pay-go provision, which requires any floor amendment to an appropriations bill that increases spending to include a provision that reduces an equal or greater amount of spending. This provision will allow 12 House members, a majority of the Appropriations Committee, to decide the limit on spending, which will weaken the power of the other 113 members of the House. It also gives new authority to the Speaker of the House, who is responsible for appointing members to the Appropriations Committee. Any floor amendment to an appropriations bill that doesn’t include cuts equaling new expenditures will not be considered, unless there is a successful motion to overrule the chair. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Kansas: Beverage deposit bill introduced
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The Kansas Senate has introduced a beverage deposit bill which would require consumers to pay each retailer a deposit of $0.05 that would be refunded when the empty beverage container is returned. Each vending machine operator would be required to post a conspicuous notice on every vending machine indicating that a refund is available on each beverage container purchased and from whom that refund can be obtained. If less than 60% of containers sold are returned two years into the program, by July 1, 2013, the deposit would increase to $0.10. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Maine: Governor proposes loosening of environmental laws
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Gov. Paul LePage has proposed loosening many of the state's environmental laws, including repealing laws that require manufacturers to take back recyclable goods for disposal, zoning 10 million acres in the northern part of the state for development, and reversing a ban on the use of a chemical linked to cancer in children's products. The proposal has been sent to the Legislature's new Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Maryland: Bill would alter the sales tax on vending machine sales
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MD 465 would alter the percentage of gross receipts from vending machine sales to which the sales and use tax rate applies. Currently, retail sales of tangible personal property through vending or other self-service machines are taxed at 6 percent of 94.5 percent of the gross receipts from the retail sales. The proposed rate would be 5 percent of 95.25 percent of the gross receipts from vending machine sales. The MD-DC Vending Association opposes this bill, and is in contact with one of the bill's sponsors. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Massachusetts: Regulations would limit certain food sales in public schools
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Massachusetts public health regulators have approved regulations to limit the sale of sugary soft drinks, and salty and calorie-packed snacks in public schools. The rules, approved in response to concerns about overweight students, would apply to a la carte lines, snack shops, and vending machines, but would not apply to the main cafeteria lines. The limitations would apply during the school day, plus a half-hour before and after classes. The rules need the approval of the state Public Health Council, an appointed panel of doctors and experts, which is expected to consider them at a spring meeting. They would take effect in 2012. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Michigan: Bill introduced to repeal item pricing law
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Governor Rick Snyder announced in his State of the State address that Michigan’s item pricing law needs to be repealed. The current law requires that most items sold at retail must be individually priced, usually with stamped figures or stickers. Exceptions are: items sold from vending machines, live plants and animals, and items sold by weight. The House is ready to give final passage to a bill that would eliminate the law requiring a price tag on every item. The bill will then go to the Senate. Under a change made to the bill, it would require retailers to post the item's price where it can be clearly seen nearby. Retail trade groups support the change, saying the current law results in higher prices. The United Food and Commercial Workers union wants to keep the law. It says jobs would be lost in grocery stores if it's repealed. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Minnesota: Proposed law would prevent lawsuits against food companies for customer weight gain
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A new bill has been introduced by Minnesota House Republicans that would prevent customers from suing food companies for their personal weight gain. This bill, known formally as The Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act and informally as 'The Cheeseburger Bill,' has previously passed the House in 2004 and 2005 but has stalled in the Senate both times. The supporters of the bill claim that matters of personal responsibility, such as obesity, do not belong in the courts. Opponents suggest the bill does not prevent food marketers from being held responsible if weight gain is related to misleading advertising. The bill’s main intention is to protect food manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits, such as the case in which a New York man sued McDonald's for his obesity and diabetes or the class action suit filed last year against McDonald's that called for the chain to stop including toys in Happy Meals. For more information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


Missouri: "Fair Tax" proposal once again introduced
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The Missouri House Tax Reform Committee proposed a constitutional amendment replacing the individual and corporate income tax, corporation and bank franchise taxes and sales and use tax with a fair sales tax on certain property and services. This proposal has been introduced in the last few sessions and continues to be controversial with many organizations concerned about this new tax structure. This call to expand the scope of sales tax would include services, rent, health care, child care and new homes, among others. Although various associations testified both in support and in opposition to the bill, no further action was taken. For more information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.


New York: Bill would reduce number of reverse vending machines required
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An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the number of reverse vending machines required for mandatory acceptance of empty beverage containers, was introduced on Feb. 2. It would reduce the number of reverse vending machines required. The law applies to a dealer whose place of business is part of a chain engaged in the same general field of business which operates ten or more units in the state under common ownership and whose business has at least forty thousand square feet devoted to the display of merchandise for sale to the public. The requirement to install and maintain reverse vending machines does not apply to a dealer that sells only refrigerated beverage containers of twenty ounces or less where each beverage container is sold as an individual container that is not connected to or packaged with any other beverage container. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Oregon: Bills introduced related to sugar sweetened beverages
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Oregon House Bill 2644 would impose an excise tax on the sale of sugar sweetened beverages and provides that the revenue collected will go into a fund which will distribute the money to nutrition programs, physical education programs and other public health activities. Oregon House Bill 3222 would prohibit the sale of single serving high calorie beverages in a prepackaged container that contains more than 12 ounces. This would not apply to 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices or milk products. Oregon House Bill 3223 would require warning labels on containers of high calorie beverages sold or offered for sale in the state. The warning would read "overconsumption of sugary beverages is linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease." The bill if passed would take effect July 1, 2012. For more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Oregon: Nutritional requirements for food sold in public buildings
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Oregon House Bill 3224 establishes nutritional requirements for food and beverages sold in public buildings. It sets nutritional standards for snacks, including the serving size, calories and fat and sugar content. Beverage items are limited to water, 100% fruit juice, items with less than 10 calories per 8 oz, or 12 ounce containers with no more than 66 calories. For additional information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Tennessee: Bills would add a one cent per fluid ounce tax to sweetened soft drinks
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TN HB 537 and SB 521 would add a tax of one cent per fluid ounce to each bottled soft drink that contains added sugar or caloric sweeteners. The amended version of the Tennessee Code reads 'any person manufacturing, producing, or importing or causing to be imported into this state and selling within this state bottled soft drinks that contain added sugar or caloric sweeteners shall, for the privilege of engaging in that business, pay to the state a tax in the amount of one cent per fluid ounce of each bottled soft drink. Any bottled soft drink that contain less than one calorie per fluid ounce or that contains non-caloric sweetener — as previously defined — shall be exempt from the tax.' The caloric sweetener is defined as including sucrose, fructose, glucose and other sugars. The non-caloric sweetener includes aspartame, saccharin, stevia and sucralose. For additional information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Tennessee: TAMA Legislative Day Feb. 22, 2011
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The Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association, or TAMA, will hold their 2011 Legislative Day Tuesday Feb. 22, 2011. If you are interested in attending, please plan to meet at 8:00 a.m. in the cafeteria of the Legislative Plaza, at the corner of 5th & Union. Meet with your legislator and help distribute 'Goody Bags.' For additional information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Washington: Environmental bills introduced
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Three environmental bills were introduced in Washington. Senate Bill 5778 would create incentives for the collection and recycling of beverage bottles. Senate Bill 5779 would ban food from being served in styrofoam and would ban plastic eating utensils. Senate Bill 5781 would ban petroleum-based beverage bottles. NAMA will be working next more information contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Wisconsin: Governor Walker signs bill to give businesses a tax break
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Governor Scott Walker recently signed AB 3, a bill that gives businesses that relocate to the state a two-year break from paying state taxes. To be eligible for the tax break, the taxpayer must relocate a business to Wisconsin from another state or country, and begin doing business in Wisconsin. The exclusion or credit could be claimed for two consecutive tax years, beginning with the year the taxpaying business located to Wisconsin. Under the bill, locating to the state means moving either 51 percent of the business' workforce payroll or at least $200,000 of wages to Wisconsin during the first tax year. The business could not claim the tax break if the taxpayer had done business in the state at any time during the prior two tax years. The bill is effective immediately and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011. For additional information contact Kim Radulski at kradulski@vending.org.

The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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WESTERN OFFICE: 150 South Los Robles Avenue, Suite 830, Pasadena, CA 91101, Voice: 626/229-0900, Fax: 626/229-0777



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