Western PA and Penn-Del-Jersey NECA Express Joint Support to Clarify Tax Code for Traffic Light Construction [H.B. 437]
October 21, 2015
PITTSBURGH—Western PA NECA joined with the Penn-Del-Jersey NECA Chapter this week to lend support to H.B. 437, a bipartisan effort to clarify the Pennsylvania Tax Reform Code to prevent the PA Department of Revenue from unduly taxing the construction of traffic lights in communities around the state.
The Pennsylvania NECA chapters sent a joint letter [LINK TO LETTER PDF] to state lawmakers urging expedient action on the issue.
The Pennsylvania state tax code currently lists traffic signals as tax exempt when they are built for tax exempt government entities. Electrical contractors and local governments have historically understood that this exemption includes all components of the traffic light construction.
Within the last few years, however, the PA Department of Revenue (DOR) has begun enforcing a limited definition of the term “traffic signal”, assessing sales tax on the foundation materials, poles, and mast arms that hold the light assembly above a roadway. Only the light assembly itself is considered exempt under this interpretation.
H.B. 437, which was reintroduced by State Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Berks County) on February 10, 2015, amends the tax code to specifically include “traffic signal foundations, poles, and mast arms” as tax exempt items.
“This narrow interpretation of the definition of a traffic signal clearly undermines the intention and prior enforcement of the tax code,” said Chad Jones, the Western PA Chapter's Executive Director. “This unexpected change is causing confusion and hardship among NECA contractors, and we appreciate and support Representative Caltagirone’s efforts to clarify this matter.”
H.B. 437 unanimously passed through the PA House Finance Committee on May 12, 2015 and currently awaits further action in the Appropriations Committee.
Pittsburgh, September 21, 2015: WPA NECA Hires Joelle Salerno as Government Affairs Coordinator
For better or worse, the government can have a huge impact on our membership and the success of the industry overall. One of our goals at NECA is to keep members informed of upcoming or potential changes that could affect small businesses, labor relations, and the economy. We also strive to maintain a constructive relationship with local and national lawmakers so we as a coalition can influence policy while it is still developing.
We’ve realized that keeping track of the ever-changing political environment is a full-time job in and of itself. That is why I’m pleased to announce that this week the WPA NECA team welcomed Joelle Salerno as our new Government Affairs Coordinator.
Joelle comes to NECA with 4 years of federal legislative experience, having worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staff member for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
As the Government Affairs Coordinator for the chapter, Joelle will follow federal and state legislative initiatives that are important to the industry and provide updates to NECA members about specific issues that could affect their businesses and employees. She will also coordinate dialogue between NECA Members and their elected officials to ensure that the voices of electrical contractors are heard as laws, policies, and regulations are formed.
Joelle earned a B.A. in International Studies focusing in American Foreign Policy and Russian Language/Area Studies from the American University in Washington, D.C. She is a native of the Scott Township/Carnegie area of Pittsburgh and currently resides in Southpointe, Washington County.
Please join me in welcoming Joelle to the NECA Team.
Chad M. Jones
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MS. SALERNO OR OUR GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS FIND US ON THE ABOVE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
If you have a question, chances are it has the answer. If it doesn’t have the answer, it can quickly direct you to someone who does have the answer. Information at your fingertips. Right now.
We’d like to think of our WPA NECA App as the Swiss Army knife for Member Services. It has essentially replaced former stand alone objects like directories, calendars, memos, jurisdictional maps, newsletters, photo albums, & video hubs. The APP is in essence a warehouse encapsulating all of those items in one location with the ability for “real time” / up to the minute dissemination of information.
The newly designed interactive jurisdictional map is currently one of my favorite features. The map, built through a Google platform, outlines Local 5, Local 56, Local 106, & Local 712 jurisdictions. Why is this helpful? First, it give you the ability to search an address and immediately know which jurisdiction it falls into. The star located within the jurisdiction notes the Local Union Hall or Headquarters along with contact information for that Local.
If you’re planning on attending NECA NOW ’15 or The NECA National Convention in October, the App is an invaluable resource for those events. We are able to include daily agenda breakdowns, chapter activities, and information that we feel is not only necessary but helpful to make your trip more enjoyable and efficient. Our NECA NOW ’15 section will be released on the APP Monday, March 2nd. This will allow users over a month to analyze the information & features before getting to Miami.
I can proudly say, we are the first NECA chapter to create an APP of this caliber for its membership. With the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve gathered from our members, as well as other chapters & NECA personnel, I’m quite certain many others are sure to follow our lead.
If you haven’t downloaded it yet, please do so. I promise it will be to your benefit. And it also comes with a great price tag, FREE.
Chad M. Jones
RANDOM FACT - We have accumulated over 150 downloads of the WPA NECA App since its creation including 3 from Greece, 1 from Mexico, & 1 from China.
PLEASE NOTE - IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THE APP - PLEASE BE SURE TO TURN ON THE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS IN YOUR NOTIFICATION CENTER.
DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS -
*FOR APPLE PRODUCTS - ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE GO TO THE APPLE App Store and type in WPA NECA in the search window. Follow Instructions on Screen.
*FOR SAMSUNG PRODUCTS or OTHER COMPATIBLE DEVICES use GOOGLE PLAY and search WPA NECA. Follow Instructions on Screen.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL.
412-290-1175 / firstname.lastname@example.org
412-638-6328 / email@example.com
Former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach, Chuck Noll was often heard repeating one of his famous quotes, “The only constant in life is change.” Change is once again being delivered to our industry with the recent announcement of the Electrical Training Alliance, formerly known as the NJATC. For the past 70 years the joint training program between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) aimed at training the best electrical workers the industry has to offer. Today, the Electrical Training Alliance has developed into the largest apprenticeship and training program of its kind, having trained over 350,000 apprentices to journeymen status through local affiliate programs. The program has become a true shining star in our industry and it did not get there by settling for status quo, but instead, continued to push the limits of training and continually rewrite the curriculum to stay ahead of our competitors.
Two of the biggest advancements have been in Core Curriculum and Blended Learning. Core Curriculum was created recognizing that specialty trade skills mean nothing without a solid foundation of core skills. The core curriculum allows students to specialize in their trade while still becoming a well-rounded craftsperson. Every region requires different skills from electricians. Being an electrician in Las Vegas is not the same as being an electrician in Western Pennsylvania and the Electrical Training Alliance provides the flexibility to train for the unique demands of different locals. Blended Learning reaches beyond the textbook, incorporating advanced technology in all aspects of training. It also enables students to continue training remotely, bridging the gap between an apprenticeship and learning in the classroom. The Electrical Training Alliance encourages training centers to embrace new technologies and offers ongoing technical courses to support all facilities using its curriculum.
On September 11, 2014, the Trustees of the Electrical Training Alliance announced that Executive Director, Michael Callanan will be stepping down after ten years in his position and nearly 20 years of service to the industry and the NJATC. Mike is a fierce competitor and it showed through the advancements he made to our training programs across the nation. Mike will be greatly missed.
On behalf of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike for all that he has done in his pursuit of excellence in training. He forever changed the way our curriculum gets delivered and laid the foundation for our training programs to succeed well into the future. Like any great leader Mike surrounded himself with very talented people. We are fortunate to announce that Mike will be proceeded by one of his longtime colleagues, Mr. Todd Stafford. Todd has been with the NJATC for nearly twenty years and will continue to advance the NEW Electrical Training Alliance onward. We anticipate great things from not only Todd but the entire Electrical Training Alliance moving forward.
Chad M. Jones
Most of life really comes down to one question, "How much effort am I willing to invest?" This is a question that gets asked of us daily from a multitude of angles both professionally and on a personal level. One thing is for certain, if you put little effort in you should not expect much in return. This paradigm holds ever true with our association, the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of NECA. I think it's safe to assume those members who over the years have taken the time to get involved and learn new things have probably gotten more value out of their membership than those who did not. Our GOAL is to provide you, the member, with all of the resources at our disposal to become better Electrical Contractors and more astute business leaders. With roughly two weeks until our National Convention convenes in Chicago, I think this is a good time to ask yourself two questions: "What has my NECA Chapter done for me lately?" AND "What have I done for my business lately?" For those of you attending the National Convention this year, I encourage you to not just be in attendance but to be vigilant and open to all the opportunities before you. The convention will be stock full of the latest technologies, innovative tools, and best business practices but perhaps more importantly it will be stocked with our greatest asset...people. For those of you not attending the convention this year, I encourage you to come join us at our September 18th General Membership meeting at the Circuit Center here in Pittsburgh. We will be featuring NECA’s Value Added Services and discussing the association's plans for 2015, a year that will include a full slate of Membership Meetings and Educational Courses to bring added value to your current membership. I know what you’re thinking right now, talk is cheap, and quite frankly I couldn’t agree more but the value will only come to those who are willing to invest their time.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon,
Chad M. Jones
Welcome to our "new" website! As you begin to navigate through the sections, please feel free to reach out to our office at any time with suggestions and/or questions. We want this to be YOUR website! We anticipate this to be a very malleable platform that can be adapted to our ever-changing needs and wants. We hope you all enjoy the content, that the site is a true resource for you and your company, and that it ultimately adds value to your membership with the Western Pennsylvania Chapter, NECA. Thanks as always for your continued support. ~ Chad M. Jones and Cody B. Phillips