Congress Passes Business Friendly Tax Extenders

Early on Wednesday morning, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released text of an omnibus spending bill that would fund the government through FY 2016 and text of a tax extenders package. The $1.149 trillion omnibus not only funds the government, but contains a number of policy riders that are of great importance to NGA members. Among these policy riders was language that would repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for muscle cuts of beef and pork, delay the Cadillac tax for two years, and a delay of menu labeling regulations for one year. Additional details on policy riders can be seen HERE.

The tax extenders package makes a number of important tax breaks permanent, and represents a tremendous victory for businesses across the country, and the independent supermarket industry in particular. Among the tax breaks that were made permanent in the bill include section 179 expensing, charitable deductions for contributions of food, and 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements. For a full overview of the tax credits that were included in the bill, please click HERE.

The House considered the two bills separately, passing the tax bill on Thursday by a vote of 318-109 (see how your Representative voted HERE), and passed the omnibus spending bill earlier this morning, by a vote of 316-113 (see how your Representative voted HERE).

The Senate chose to roll the two bills into one, requiring only one vote on final passage for the entire package to pass. That vote occurred earlier this morning, and passed by a vote of 65-33 (see how your Senators voted HERE).

Thanks to Congresswoman Chellie Pingree for helping to secure a permanent tax credit for Maine companies that donate food.  For years, this tax credit had to be reauthorized.  Once the President signs the tax omnibus and tax extender bill, companies will be able to claim credit for food donated started on January 1, 2015 and in years ahead.

The President has indicated his support for the spending and tax measures and is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

 

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2016 Dues Notices Mailed

The 2016 Membership Dues notices were mailed the first week of December.  Thank you in advance for renewing your membership.  We’re grateful for your membership and look forward to working on your behalf throughout the coming year.

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Maine Revenue Services Releases Updated Sales Tax Bulletins

Maine Revenue Services released their updated sales tax bulletins for businesses collecting and remitting sales tax on grocery and prepared foods.  They held two webinars on November 18 and 19 where many grocers and other retailers learned just how comprehensive the expanded sales tax is going to be.  We’re working with Maine Revenue Services to help them appreciate the enormity of the challenges facing our members in meeting the January 16, 2015 deadline.

Click here to review Bulletins 12 & 27 of particular interest to our members.

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FDA Releases New Food Safety Rules

The FDA released three final FSMA rules earlier this morning, November 13.  The Produce Safety rule, the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule, and the Accredited Third-Party Certification rule. More information can be found on the FDAs website HERE.

 

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Jack & Kathy Jo Goggin 2015 Grocer of the Year

Congratulations to Jack and Kathy Jo Goggin, recipients of the 2015 Maine Grocer of the Year.  Jack and Kathy Jo are third generation owners, serving the Town of Randolph and neighboring communities with distinction.  They provide the Hometown Proud atmosphere that the IGA moniker embodies, by employing the next generation, supporting school and athletic activities, as well as donating to families in need.

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