LUMBERYARDS

Tax proposal raises ire of West Coast lumber group

BY Ken Clark

The West Coast Lumber & Building Material Association (WCLBMA) board of directors has voted to oppose California’s Proposition 30, on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election. 

“Increasing personal taxes on some taxpayers and increasing the state sales tax for everyone to fund a broken state government is not the answer,” according to the WCLBMA. “The answer is for the state to curb state spending, cut all state-funded programs that are not absolutely essential for public safety, public welfare and public education. More taxes with the state’s weak economy and high unemployment is not the answer.”

Provisions of Proposition 30 include: a raise in California’s sales tax to 7.5% from 7.25%, a 3.45 percentage increase over current law; creation of  four high-income tax brackets for taxpayers with taxable incomes exceeding $250,000, $300,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000; and a 10.3% tax rate on taxable income over $250,000 but less than $300,000 — a percentage increase of 10.6% over current policy of 9.3%. 

“WCLBMA condemns the tactics of the proposition proponents who are threatening education and basic governmental services if the measure does not pass,” the WCLBMA wrote in a news release. “Their actions are for all intents and purposes blackmail of the citizens of California and are reprehensible.

“The State of California has not only done a dismal job in managing state finances in today’s difficult economic conditions, but has been shown to have failed in generating a truthfully balanced budget using real numbers. The state’s gap between revenue and spending is increasing and counting on questionable revenue generation is absurd.

“California needs the governor and state legislators to take an honest look at what is needed to make the state’s income-producing businesses survive, and perhaps prosper again at some point in the future. Cut the bureaucracy, cut the regulatory chaos, and quit spending. Make the revenue stream to the state more equitable and more predictable.”

 

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ABS adds another ProBuild veteran

BY Brae Canlen

American Builders Supply (ABS), an independent supplier of doors, windows and trusses to home builders in Florida, has appointed Ben Phillips to its board of directors. Phillips was most recently the chief operating officer at Fidelity Devonshire Investors, part of Fidelity Capital, the parent company of ProBuild. Before that, he spent several years at ProBuild, serving as executive VP and chief operating officer.

Phillips’s earlier experience included stints as CEO of Phillips Group; CEO, southeastern region, Builders FirstSource; and CEO of Pelican Companies. He began his career at Lowe’s when the home improvement retailer was a chain of regional lumberyards.

“We are delighted to add Ben as a board member,” said Bill Myrick, CEO of ABS, in the announcement. “His leadership abilities and financial and operations experience will help us ensure our future growth." 

Earlier this month, Myrick, the former CEO of ProBuild, hired Mark Garboski as VP operations. Garboski previously served as ProBuild’s VP shared services. 

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Growing dealers team with BlueTarp

BY Ken Clark

Portland, Maine-based BlueTarp Financial entered into new credit-program partnerships with McKenzie Building Center in Watford City, N.D., and Builders Warehouse in Denver entered into partnerships with Portland, Maine-based BlueTarp Financial.

Both McKenzie Building Center and Builders Warehouse are now collaborating with BlueTarp on customized in-house financial programs. The programs bring guaranteed cash flow, risk reduction of contractor payments and marketing services that will help increase sales. The credit lines will streamline transactions and improve store connections with contractors, according to BlueTarp.

Strong growth for both companies factored into the decisions for both companies.

"Here in Watford City, we are located in the middle of the current oil boom happening in North Dakota,” said McKenzie Building Center CEO Eric Sparrow, whose company has seen a 300% increase in sales over each of the past two years. “As our local population continues to grow, so does the demand for materials to build affordable housing. I wanted to make sure that as a company, we had a professional organization making the credit decisions for us, and the ability to offer large lines to meet the needs of our customers."

"Our decision to partner with BlueTarp was simple — growth,” said Builders Warehouse owner Myron Andersen. “By entering into this partnership, we have put ourselves in a position to keep up with the increasing demand for building materials from the contractors we serve."

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