This issue of the Building Products & Materials (BP&M) newsletter highlights the macroeconomic drivers supporting the ongoing resurgence in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the sector and rapidly rising valuations. Optimistic buyers continue to aggressively seek deals due to strong economic fundamentals and robust construction activity. In particular, optimism in the market for new single-family homes is holding strong, likely due to the shortage of existing inventory in the market and high demand for housing. While housing starts slowed somewhat in March, dropping 6.8% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.215 million, starts were up 9.2% year-over-year, with growth in building permit authorizations pointing to more construction activity likely in the coming months.
In March of 2017, the North Carolina Sales and Use Tax Division published a notice on its website containing general guidance on the taxability of real property contracts and retail sales of repair, maintenance, and installation services. More recently, a second notice has been published and mass distributed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue, alluding to and simplifying the original Sales and Use Tax notice.
New orders in March 2017 were up 12 percent over March 2016, according to our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. The good news was that some 77 percent of the participants reported increases. The March increase brought year-to-date increase to 4 percent, up from 2 percent through February. Last year, new orders were even with 2015 first quarter. Shipments increased 6 percent with some 71 percent of the participants reporting increases. Shipments were up 17 percent over February, but some of that increase was likely due to more working days in the month. Last year, first quarter shipments were 2 percent higher than the first quarter of 2015.
Smith Leonard was recently featured in a blog post by Linville Team Partners on progressive commercial work spaces. Opened in May of 2016, our Winston-Salem office defies typical perceptions of the traditional CPA firm. Featuring graffiti art and a lime green shipping container as a reception desk, this space is light, bright, and airy with modern features. Our ability to use the common areas at our downstairs neighbor, Linville Team, fosters camaraderie and fun, especially during our Third Thursday happy hour social event for clients, community partners, and friends.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a long-standing income tax benefit that encourages employers to hire designated categories of workers who face significant barriers to employment. The credit, usually claimed on Form 5884, is generally based on wages paid to eligible workers during the first two years of employment.
According to our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors, new orders in February were up 4 percent over February 2016 new orders. This increase brought the year-to-date increase up to a 2 percent increase after flat results in January. Year-to-date, orders were up for 58 percent of the participants. The good news was that orders in February were up for two-thirds of the participants.
Explore the Spring 2017 Nonprofit Standard. Topics covered will include how boards can manage transformational change, the difference between charities and foundations, a deeper dive into ASU 2016-14, how supporting organizations can put their charity designation at risk, new processes for exempt organizations, and best practices for an effective investment committee.
According to our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors, new orders in January were basically flat with January 2016 orders. Just over one-half of the participants reported increased orders. These results followed two good months of November and December 2016 when orders were up 8 and 11 percent, respectively.
Our 2016 Furniture Insights Survey results are in! December was a good month for many of the participants in our survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. New orders in December were up 11 percent over December 2015.
2017 is a big valuation year for property taxes in North Carolina, with several Triad counties up for revaluation. There is a window of opportunity for businesses that own real property in the counties mentioned below to appeal their 2017 value and realize potentially significant savings. The optimum time to appeal is within thirty days of receiving your 2017 valuation.