2017 Convention Coming Soon

FWEDA is proud to partner with Advantage Rent A Car to offer great rates on rental cars throughout the year, anywhere in the US. Choose from a wide variety of vehicles – compact to luxury cars and SUVs. 
To receive your special rates, make sure to use the discount code: CD03B82203 

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Welcome to the Far West
Equipment Dealers Association

The Far West Equipment Dealers Association is a nonprofit organization representing agricultural, industrial, materials handling, outdoor power, and rental equipment dealers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

Lead-acid Battery Fees Registration

Back in December we sent members a notice regarding a new lead battery acid fee (see below). At the time we did not have much information on how the program would work but additional information has just became available. 
The lead-acid battery fees registration is available starting March 20, 2017. In addition, a Tax and Fee Guide has been posted to the California Board of Equalization (BOE) website. Go to http://www.boe.ca.gov/industry/lead-acid_battery_fees.html to view this information and register with the BOE.

The BOE has also released a two page guidance on how this program will work.  Please go to https://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/l489.pdf for additional information.  Please note that this does NOT include new batteries that come in farm equipment, atv’s, autos, etc.  from the factory but only REPLACEMENT batteries.

Minimum Wage Increases in Store for Many In 2017

While the federal minimum wage has remained steady at $7.25 for the past seven years, many state and local jurisdictions have set their own minimum rates higher than the federal level. And, of course, when a local jurisdiction mandates a rate higher than the federal rate, you must pay your employees the higher rate.

Here is a listing of all the planned increases in the states we serve currently on tap for 2017.

Click here to read full article.

Court Halts Overtime Rule

A federal judge in Texas entered a nationwide preliminary injunction on Tuesday prohibiting the Department of Labor from enforcing its new overtime rules. The new rules, released in May, were scheduled to take effect December 1. The new rule would have raised the minimum salary limit required to be considered an “exempt” employee from $23,660 to $47,476 per year.

Twenty-one states challenged the Department of Labor’s overtime expansion on the basis that Congress did not intend to set a minimum salary threshold for the exemption nor did it intend to allow the minimum salary threshold be raised every three years, which the rule stipulates.

Click here to read full article.

Implementing Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act

The Far West Equipment Dealers Association, in conjunction with industry associates, has been working with the California Board of Equalization (BOE) and its staff to get word out to members regarding the implementation of the Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016. The law takes effect January 1, 2017 with the collection of fees beginning April 1, 2017.

For more information about implementation of the Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act visit http://www.boe.ca.gov/legdiv/pdf/2016SPTbulletin.pdf#page=9.

Click here to read full article.

2017 Laws Affecting California Employers

California enacted new employment laws that may affect the day-to-day operations of your businesses in 2017 and beyond.
Employers will need to be aware of significant changes in key areas, such as the state minimum wage. Other new laws make small changes to different parts of existing law or may relate only to specific industries. Unless specified, all new legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

 This year, many bills feature delayed or phased-in implementation. Click here to read full article.

Pot Is Legal, Keep Your Workplace Drug Free

On November 8, California joined several other states in legalizing recreational use of marijuana by adults. Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years old and over, imposes a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales and establishes a regulatory framework for the sale of marijuana. Legalizing marijuana for recreational use is a significant change to current law. However, despite the passage of Proposition 64, several things will not change.

Tractor Incentive Program Offers Money

California growers looking to replace tractors might be eligible for incentive money under a program by the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD).

The Agricultural Tractor Replacement Program provides incentive funds for the replacement of in-use, off-road mobile equipment used in agricultural operations as defined by the California Air Resources Board.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants must obtain approval and have a signed, executed contract from the SJVAPCD prior to purchasing the new equipment.  As this is not a rebate program, growers who have already purchased new equipment are not eligible for the program.

Information about the program is available online at the SJVAPCD website.  

2016 Partial Tax Exemption: Special Notice 

The partial sales tax exemption for farm machinery has changed effective 1-1-16. Even though the BOE’s website still says the exempt amount is the same as last year, this Special Notice will explain the change and why. In short, the exempt portion of sales tax will go from 5.50% to 5.25%. The 7.50 percent sales and use tax base rate in California, which consists of state, local, and county taxes, remains at 7.50 percent, excluding any district taxes that may apply to certain areas. As of January 1, 2016, the state tax portion will decrease by 0.25 percent and the local tax portion will increase by 0.25 percent. Since the partial exemption only applies to the state tax, the amount of the partial exemption will decrease by 0.25 percent.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Far West Office if you have questions, concerns or need further information.

FWEDA Matching Fund Scholarship Program

FWEDA is pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of matching fund scholarships to assist in the training of employees or potential employees of Far West’s farm equipment dealers.
This is a “dealer-driven” scholarship process. The dealer must approve the applicant as a potential future employee, approve the applicant’s course of study as being relevant to dealership operations, and agree to match the $500 scholarship awarded by FWEDA. Applicants must be accepted and enrolled as a full-time student into a dealer-approved higher education curriculum. Click here to read full article.

Paid Sick Leave Law

With the signing of the legislation mandating that employers provide employees with paid sick leave starting July 1, 2015, many employers are questioning what options they have to comply with the new law and how existing or newly adopted employer policies will coordinate with this new mandate.
AB 1522 (Gonzalez; D-Sherman Heights; Chapter 317) provides employers with three options by which to satisfy the requirement to provide employees with paid sick leave, thereby offering employers some flexibility to implement a new or existing policy.