Investment + Innovation = Growth

By November 12, 2014Taxation

As part of “Investment Week” we want to highlight the role that pro-investment tax policy plays in the success of our nation’s manufacturing sector. These provisions are used by manufacturers large and small and are a particularly high priority for small and medium-sized manufacturers. In order to compete in a worldwide economy, manufacturers need to plan and invest and meet emerging needs. Extension of the pro-growth policies that expired at the end of 2013 would amount to a major step towards a tax code that will promote investment. Capital investment is key to economic growth, job creation and competitiveness.

NAM Board Member and SASCO Chemical Group President Marc Skalla speaks at the NAM’s Leadership Engagement Series in Pittsburgh, PA.

NAM Board Member and SASCO Chemical Group President Marc Skalla speaks at the NAM’s Leadership Engagement Series in Pittsburgh, PA.

Take for example SASCO Chemical Group, Inc. (SASCO), a Georgia-based third generation family-owned chemical manufacturer with worldwide distribution. According to SASCO’s President Marc Skalla, “Innovation has made us who we are today; reinventing ourselves through innovation will secure our future and make us who we will be tomorrow.”

To continue this forward-thinking progression, SASCO opened a state-of-the-art Innovation and Technology Center that houses their R&D, Technical, and Process-Pilot plant team. Over the past few years, SASCO has relied heavily on both enhanced Section 179 and bonus depreciation provisions in the Tax Code to enhance cash flows on scale up projects originating mainly from their Innovation and Technology Center. According to Marc, “without such provisions, our ability to transition innovations from a small-scale lab environment to full production lines would be severely hampered.  Capital projects such as those our Company launches are exactly the type of projects that these tax provisions are intended to support.”

Companies like SASCO that are innovating, growing and competing are at the heart of the ongoing manufacturing comeback taking place in the United States.  These investment incentives have allowed SASCO to triple their facility’s capacity over the past four years to keep up with the double digit growth they have experienced annually since 2008. This growth has earned SASCO many accolades including a recent recognition from President Obama’s E-Awards for significant contributions to increasing American exports.

Manufacturers like SASCO, and thousands of manufacturers in communities across the country, need pro-growth, pro-investment tax policy to allow them to face the challenges of competing in a global marketplace. Manufacturers face enough headwinds and uncertainty in the tax code should not be adding more. We urge every member of Congress to support renewing and extending these policies. Until we can get the full panoply of pro-growth pro-manufacturing tax policies enacted via comprehensive tax reform, this is a critical step forward.

Carolyn Lee

Carolyn Lee

Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute at The Manufacturing Institute
Carolyn Lee is Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute, the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest industrial trade association. Carolyn drives an agenda focused on improving the manufacturing industry through its three centers: the Center for the American Workforce, the Center for Manufacturing Research, and the Center for Best Practices.

In her role, Carolyn leads the Institute’s workforce efforts to close the skills gap and inspire all Americans to enter the U.S. manufacturing workforce, focusing on women, youth, and veterans. Carolyn steers the Institute’s initiatives and programs to educate the public on manufacturing careers, improve the quality of manufacturing education, engage, develop and retain key members of the workforce, and identify and document best practices. In addition, Carolyn drives the agenda for the Center for Manufacturing Research, which partners with leading consulting firms in the country. The Institute studies the critical issues facing manufacturing and then applies that research to develop and identify solutions that are implemented by companies, schools, governments, and organizations across the country.

Prior to joining the Institute, Carolyn was Senior Director of Tax Policy at the NAM beginning in 2011, where she was responsible for key portions of the NAM’s tax portfolio representing the manufacturing community on Capitol Hill and in the business community and working closely with the NAM membership. She served as the Director of Legislative and Government Affairs at the Telecommunications Industry Association, Manager of State and Federal Government Affairs for 3M Company, and in various positions on Capitol Hill including as Legislative Director for former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and as a senior legislative staff member for former U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly (R-NY).

Carolyn is a graduate of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania graduating with a B.A. in Political Science. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.
Carolyn Lee

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