Show Your Support Through Membership
As president of the MCAA, I am often asked why one would want to be a member, and what one gets out of a membership. Many times, it is difficult to explain intangible benefits (benefits you receive without seeing a direct impact to your bottom line). Getting contractors to understand this is, sometimes, difficult. Many MCAA activities benefit contractors throughout the country. Whether or not they are members, companies that do not participate hurt the rest of the industry indirectly through their lack of support.
The lack of support is actually harmful to our industry. The more support the MCAA has, the more resources and the greater the impact we have as an organization. One such example of this is an annual trip and event hosted by the MCAA that I am preparing to attend: the spring Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. This is one of the many activities in which the organization participates. If you do not participate, it weakens our efforts. We will be on Capitol Hill to express our industries needs and state our positions on issues that have an impact on your bottom line. Ultimately, if we are heard and our positions are successful (as some have been in the past), our entire industry will benefit from our efforts.
Some may wonder if their lack of attendance will affect the conference. One of the very first questions we are asked when we sit down with our elected representatives is the number of companies our organization represents. Our answer will set the tone for the remainder of the meeting and, typically, will impact our ability to reach out and be effective with the elected official. Your support strengthens our position in D.C. We will be presenting multiple positions on behalf of our industry.
- We will be fighting to repeal and/ or reform the Estate Tax (a critical issue to family-owned businesses).
- We are looking to repeal a 3% government withholding tax, which goes into effect in 2011 on all government work unless it is repealed.
- We are looking to fight for a fair process when OSHA implements a silica issue in the near future.
- We will be asking for sensible immigration reform.
- We will be asking for higher lifecycle requirements where military construction is taking place.
- We will be looking for a permanent fix to the alternative minimum tax, which will affect many small businesses if it is not changed.
Our annual legislative conference is just one of many events with which the MCAA is involved. Other important issues include ASTM, MSJC, and fighting for exemptions to OSHA-created rules that simply do not work in our industry. Obviously, these fights would go better with you than without; I would ask if you are not a member that you please consider becoming one today. Look for a report on this year’s conference in the next issue of Masonry magazine. I will also let you know how my appointments went and give you an insider’s look at the conference.