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Timber Talk 3/2/15

Posted By Gayla Fleming, Monday, March 2, 2015

OFA Workers’ Comp Administrator CareWorks Consultants, Inc. Merges with Frank Gates Service Company
The Administrator of the OFA Group Safety Rating Program, CareWorks Consultants, Inc. (CCI) has merged with another company administer, Frank Gates Service Company and become a new entity called CareWorksComp, and in the process has created Ohio’s largest third-party administrator company. Both former companies were held by parent company York Risk Services Group, Inc. Hereis a news release from CareWorksComp and it outlines that OFA member companies will see no changes in services and management staff servicing the account.

BWC Offers Prospective Billing And Safety Seminar for Private Employers
In line with BWC switching to an industry standard prospective billing for employer premiums, BWC is offering a free seminar to employers on what it means to your business. The seminar will explain the reason for the transition, how BWC will cover transition costs, transition timelines, along with essential information and new requirements for payroll reporting. There will also be discussion on the latest workplace safety updates and information to help lower costs and keep workers safe.Those attending will qualify for group rating two-hour training credits.You can get more information on the BWC website.

RockTenn and MeadWestvaco Set to Merge
It was recently announced that RockTenn and MeadWestvaco, two large packaging companies, will merge into an industry heavyweight worth $16 billion in annual sales. RockTenn is currently in Ohio and an OFA member while MeadWestvaco has had a long former history in the state. RockTenn was the second-largest corrugated box company in North America with sales of $10 billion in 2014. MeadWestvaco was the second largest producer of thinner paper cartons and had sales of $5.6 billion last year. The new company has not yet been named. You can read more about the merger in this Wall Street Journal article.

Northwest Hardwoods Inc. Acquires Industrial Timber & Lumber Co.
It was recently reported
that Northwest Hardwoods Inc. headquartered In Tacoma, Washington purchased the Industrial Timber & Lumber Co. (ITL) headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio. ITL, an active member and supporter of OFA, is one of the largest global suppliers of quality hardwood lumber with multiple facilities in Ohio as well as Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Operations are expected to remain the same.

Kasich State of the State Address
Governor Kasich gave his State of the State address last week in Wilmington, Ohio per his tradition to do so outside of Columbus. Wilmington was the selected location as it was hit extremely hard in the last recession and is seeing the beginning on an economic rebound. During the address, the Governor spoke mostly about his tax proposals contained in the budget plan now before the legislature, highlighting his desire to eventually eliminate the state income tax as well as pushing for a change in the oil and gas severance tax rates. He also addressed education funding and health programs concerns.

Tax Expenditure Report Released by Tax Commissioner; Legislators Show Interest on Expenditures Review
Department of Taxation Commissioner Joe Testa release the Tax Expenditure Report last week as is done every two years with issuance of the budget proposal. The Tax Expenditure Report highlights the current 128 various tax exemptions now included in Ohio law that results in foregone tax revenues of an estimated $8.49 billion for 2016. The report highlights tax deductions, exemptions, deferrals, exclusions, allowances, credits, reimbursements, and preferential rates allowed in law. A sales tax exemption for property used primarily in manufacturing is the costliest of the tax expenditures outlined in the report at nearly $2 billion in FY 2017. Other major sources of foregone revenue from sales tax receipts include exemptions for: churches ($693 million in FY 2017), prescription drugs ($445 million) and tangible personal property used in agriculture and mining ($414 million). Some expenditures are proposed to be eliminated or modified in the current budget proposal while the proposal creates a new temporary Tax Expenditure Review Committee to look at the effectiveness of the state tax expenditures and recommend changes starting in 2016.

OFA Loses Long-Time Member John Burns
On Thursday, February 2, 2015, John Burns a long-time member of OFA well known within the wood products industry, passed away following a truck accident in Athens County. Here is an article from the Athens Messenger concerning the accident. You can see John’s obituary on the Souers-Cardaras Funeral Home website. According to the obituary, there will be no services held for John and his remains will be cremated. Those wishing to may leave a remembrance on the guest book with the funeral home.

Coming OFA Events/Activities:

CSAW Chainsaw Training Classes - There are a number of CSAW Level 1 and 2 classes coming up after the first week of April in Swanton and Mansfield. Check the OFA websitefor dates and times and registering on-line. Some of the classes have filled or are filling quickly so check each class for availability.

Master Logging Company Certification Classes, April 22-23, 2015; Tappan Lake - Those wishing to get training for the Master Logging Company Program can do so at the classes in April. BMP Training will take place on Thursday, April 22 with Chainsaw Level 1 taking place on Friday, April 23. See the OFA websitefor details and registration.

OFA Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp, June 7 – 12, 2015, FFA Camp Muskingum.

Lumber Grading Short Course, June 8 – 12, 2015; Yoder Lumber Co. Buckhorn Mill, Millersburg, OH.

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