The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association’s 2017 National Policy Agenda is out in the open, spelling out the lumberyard industry’s interest in nine areas, including housing and construction, tax and economic policy, legal reform and transportation.
One big fan of the principles highlighted in the document is George Lester, NLBMDA chairman.
“The 2017 NLBMDA National Policy Agenda provides a commonsense, pro-business framework that eliminates unnecessary regulatory burdens, and promotes sound fiscal policies needed for sustained economic expansion,” said Lester, who is also chairman and CEO of The Lester Group in Martinsville, Va.
The document is very similar to the prior year’s agenda. New in 2017 is the inclusion of guidance on taller wood buildings. The NLBMDA supports the Timber Innovation Act, and additionally supports “building codes that allow for the construction of wood-frame buildings that are more than six stories.”
Another emphasis is in product-neutral building codes, according to Ben Gann, VP of legislative and political affairs. “The feedback from NLBMDA’s dealer members is important in improving the National Policy Agenda,” he added.
The mortgage interest deduction, a topic emphasized by Lester in his letter to policymakers that serves as an introduction to the 2017 agenda, is another high priority of the association.
“Reforming the tax code could aid the economy and make businesses more competitive,” Lester wrote in his introduction. “However, NLBMDA opposes efforts to modify or repeal the mortgage interest deduction that has long ensured housing’s stalwart role in economic growth.”
NLBMDA’s 2017 National Policy Agenda will be distributed to members of Congress and key administration officials and will be used by NLBMDA members when they visit their members of Congress during the NLBMDA Spring Meeting and Legislative Conference on March 27 to 29 in Washington, D.C.