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ABC Supply owner ignites tax controversy

BY HBSDealer Staff

Diane Hendricks, owner of ABC Supply Co. and the richest woman in Wisconsin, paid no state income tax in 2010, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The report, also carried by the Associated Press, follows revelations that that Hendricks and Gov. Scott Walker held a strategy session on curtailing union activities. Voter backlash has resulted in a recall election for Walker next week.

Hendricks is a strong financial supporter of both Walker and conservative causes. She gave the governor more than $500,000, according to the newspaper, making her Walker’s largest donor.

A spokesman for ABC Supply, company tax director Scott Bianchini, told the Journal Sentinel that Hendricks state tax obligation dropped from $2.26 million for 2009 to zero for 2010 because of a change in the corporate structure of ABC Supply. The company paid taxes of $373,671 for the second half of 2010, the records show.

Bianchini explained that before 2010, ABC Supply was an "S" corporation, meaning the profits and the tax obligation flowed to Hendricks as the owner of the firm. In 2010, the company changed its structure so the profits and the tax obligation stay with the company.

"Now ABC is paying taxes on its own," Bianchini said. He declined to explain the disparity between the amount of taxes paid by the corporation and Hendricks herself, however.

Hendricks and her husband Ken, who died in 2007, built ABC Supply into one of the nation’s largest suppliers of roofing, siding and exterior building products. Revenues in 2011 were $4 billion.

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Toll Brothers, Shea Homes to develop California project

BY HBSDealer Staff

Two of the nation’s largest residential home builders are entering a joint venture to develop a sprawling Southern California subdivision, according to an article in Bloomberg News.

Toll Brothers, a public company best known for its high-end housing, is buying half of an Orange County development approved for as many as 2,379 single-family homes. Its partner will be Shea Homes, headquartered in Walnut, Calif., a privately held company that will help it develop the 387-acre Shea Baker Ranch in Lake Forest, according to the news report.

The project, about 12 miles from Orange County’s coast, has been approved by the city council. The land transaction, which is currently in escrow, is expected to close in June or July. Model homes should be open by January 2014, with move-ins beginning at the end of the year.  About 80% of the residences will be single-family homes, with the remainder multi-family, Bloomberg reported. 

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Whirlpool supplies appliances to Meritage Homes

BY Ken Clark

Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp. signed a deal with Meritage Homes to be the exclusive appliance provider to the builder’s homes, including first-time, move-up, luxury and active-adult.

Whirlpool will provide Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Maytag and Whirlpool brand appliances to Meritage Homes’ extensive communities throughout the southern and western states.

“We believe Whirlpool Corp., and its portfolio of brands, is the best choice for our home buyers, as well as our business,” said Bill Harrill, VP national purchasing at Meritage Homes. “With a variety of highly regarded brands to choose from, Whirlpool’s appliance selection meets our home buyers’ varied lifestyle and design needs. Buyers should find their services and products exceptional in quality, and their go-to-market strategy is a strong match with ours, which is key to maintaining our efficient home-building schedule.”

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