HFA Members Urge Industry Action on Border Tax

April 24, 2017—

The Home Furnishings Association members held an invitation-only meeting the first day of the Spring High Point Market to talk about the Border Adjustment Tax proposal that’s the centerpiece of the House Republican comprehensive tax reform plan being spearheaded by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).

The meeting was led by members of the Association’s Government Relations Action Team (GRAT). Team members Wogie Badcock, Badcock Furniture & More, Mulberry, Fla., Eric Blackledge, Blackledge Furniture, Corvallis, Ore. and Jim Kittle, Kittle’s Furniture, Indianapolis called for the meeting to discuss the BAT proposal—which seeks to eliminate the cost of goods tax deduction on imported products and components—and to urge retailers, manufacturers, and the industry as a whole to let Congress know how devastating this proposal could be to the economy since it would increase the cost of goods by at least 20-30 percent.

“The BAT, in addition to generally raising prices on most consumer products,” said Blackledge, would also create a permanent 20-30 percent cost advantage for foreign businesses that sell directly to U.S. consumers—much like the current advantage internet sellers have over brick-and-mortar retailers, only with far higher percentage rates.”

The GRAT strongly advocates that retailers and manufacturers educate themselves about the BAT, discover how it would directly impact their business, and advise Congress to consider other options. Blackedge has written an article on tax reform that will appear in the May issue of the HFA’s magazine, RetailerNOW and HFA members receive monthly updates (and calls to action when necessary) on this and other issues.

The BAT will be one of the main topic of discussion next month during the HFA’s annual Washington, D.C. fly-in, May 16-17. “This will be our third fly-in,” said HFA CEO Sharron Bradley. “I think it will be our best yet. Each year HFA members meet with legislators and regulators on behalf of furniture retailers across the country to make sure their issues are heard and understood and that’s important for the industry. This year we have even more on the line with the BAT.”

The HFA joins the American Home Furnishings Alliance for a day of joint meetings during the fly-in to ensure Congress meets a united front when working with the home furnishings industry.

HFA’s GRAT members include: Brian Adams, Ashley, Wogie Badcock, Badcock Furniture & More, Eric Blackledge, Blackledge Furniture, David Lively, Grey Suit, Chris Pfieffer, Homestead House, Jim Kittle, Kittle’s Furniture, David Gunn, Knight Furniture, Lisa Keyes, Naturwood Furniture, Tom Olinde, Olinde’s Furniture, Dru Jeppe, Reed’s Furniture, Sherry Sheely, Sheely’s Furniture and Jacob Shevin, Standard Furniture.