WASHINGTON, D.C. (DECEMBER 17, 2014)
BY MICHAEL COHN
Congress’s long-awaited passage of tax extenders legislation provides a short-term extension through only the end of this year of dozens of familiar tax breaks for businesses and individuals, along with a new savings program for the disabled.
The Senate passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act on Tuesday evening and President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law (see Congress Passes Tax Extenders). The bill was combined with the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, also known as the ABLE Act, to help those with disabilities and their caregivers to save and provide for education, housing, and medical expenses in the future.
In September 2014, California passed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (aka California’s Paid Sick Leave law). There has been much debate since the law’s passage about the law’s effective date – with some suggesting that the law is effective on January 1, 2015, others suggesting it is not effective until July 1, 2015, and still others saying that some parts of the law go into effect on January 1 and other parts are effective on July 1, 2015. Given the debate, a number of employers have chosen to “wait and see” what the California Labor Commissioner would do with regard to issuing a poster and model written notice, as the issuance of those documents might help to see how the State interprets the law.
In addition to the Federal and state minimum wage increase that took place this year, a number of local governments have adopted or are considering adopting their own minimum wage (or “living wage”) increases. Please see the following MINIMUM WAGE SUMMARY to determine if your local area has or is considering additional minimum wage.
Governor Brown issued an Executive Order that strengthens the state's ability to manage water, asking citizens to redouble our efforts to conserve water. In this proclamation Governor Brown actually promotes the use of professional car washes: "Limit vehicle washing at home by patronizing local carwashes that use recycled water." - 3.c of proclamation.
However, in an effort to show they are doing something to reduce water consumption, some water organizations have targeted washing cars as a way of doing that. Two of these misguided programs that we are aware of are Los Angeles: Go Dirty for the Drought and Ventura: A Little Dirt Won't Hurt, including an article about the Ventura program in the Wall Street Journal: Car Owners Talk Dirty to Save Water.
You Can Make a Difference
Due to WCA and ICA reaching out to Ventura, they have now added the language "Using A Professional Car Wash Is The Smart Environmental Choice," to their program! The more we educate, the more opportunity we have to make a difference in these careless programs.
WCA Gets Message to Media
NBC Nightly News decided to do a special report on these two “drive dirty” campaigns. Due to WCA’s Alert – WCA was asked to give our prospective. Jeff Paul of Fashion Square Car Wash was featured, giving the professional car wash perspective. Although the entire piece is a “puff piece” meant to make people feel like they are doing something to help the drought by not washing their cars – but at least we were able to get our message in about how professional car washes are drought-conscious.
Because of the drought emergency in California WCA is doing the following:
Visit the Environmental section of our website under Industry Information for additional resources. Be sure to have your log-in name and password available.
We are encouraging all of our members to share the resources with regulators and consumers. Be sure to keep the WCA office informed of your activities so we can assist where possible.
Members click here for resource information.