The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, and the Office of State Representative Jon Zlotnik (D-Gardner) partnered to organize a special manufacturing tour for legislative leaders of Advanced Cable Ties (ACT) on Friday, October 20, 2017.
Organized around Manufacturing Month, which falls in October, the tour highlighted the importance of manufacturing to North Central Massachusetts as well as legislative efforts to eliminate the inventory tax for manufacturers in order to boost the industry. Attendees on the tour, which included legislators, economic development officials, business leaders and members of the media, were able to get a behind the scenes look at ACT’s manufacturing process and how the company produces its cable tie products used by a variety of industries.
Advanced Cable Ties, Inc. is a leading, full-line manufacturer of cable ties and wiring accessories proudly made in the USA. ACT was founded by Ken Tomasetti and his wife, Donna in 1994. Operations were first set up in Fitchburg, MA and later moved to 245 Suffolk Lane in Gardner, MA. Advanced Cable Ties has stayed true to the original vision of a business that sells quality products through exceptional customer service and respected employees. The company currently employs over 150 people.
“The importance of manufacturing in the communities we serve cannot be overstated”, explained Jim Bellina of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce. “We are fortunate to have business leaders such as Ken Tomasetti of Advanced Cable Ties.”
“This region is home to the Commonwealth’s highest concentration of manufacturers” stated Roy Nasicmento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “Manufacturing month grants us an opportunity to highlight the importance of this industry to our regional economy, acknowledging the benefits it provides in the form of stable, well-paying jobs as well as the impediments which hinder its continued success.”
The region’s 445 manufacturing firms account for one fourth of the jobs in the region. Companies range from the world class plastics industry cluster of more than 140 companies to pharmaceuticals to photonics and paper, as well as biomedical devices. Manufacturers today are some of the most well-paid, highly trained and in demand employees in the workforce, working on advanced equipment and technology. Supporting careers in advanced manufacturing and serving as fierce advocates for local manufacturers are a priority for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber.
The tour focused upon the impact of the State’s inventory tax, which places a levy on the value of all raw materials, unfinished, and finished products which pass through a facility. According to a 2012 report by New Jobs for Massachusetts, the Commonwealth represents one of only nine states which still enforce a tax of this kind. Since inventory and packaging facilities can be easily relocated, manufacturers can avoid the expense entirely by investing elsewhere. For those manufacturers who choose Massachusetts despite this imposition, the tax limits their ability to store raw materials, forcing them to purchase as needed to meet production as opposed to when demand and cost are low. This drives up their prices and hampers their ability to turn around orders quickly.
“Repealing the inventory tax for manufacturers would go a long way in supporting the industry in Massachusetts,” said Ken Tomasetti, President of Advanced Cable Ties. “It would not only help manufacturers in Massachusetts better compete with their competitors located in other states, but it would also help create new jobs in the industry.”
To address these issues, Rep. Zlotnik spoke about legislation he had filed to repeal the tax. “We need reform to make manufacturing more competitive in Massachusetts” he explained. “This bill would put us more in line with our sister states and reflect modern business conditions. Having a tax that can fluctuate widely and is not related to profit is not good policy.”
Illustrating the regional and bi-partisan nature of these issues, attendees also included Rep. Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin), Chairman of the House’s Manufacturing Caucus; Rep. Donald Berthiaume (R-Spencer); and Rep. Susannah Whipps (I-Athol). Christopher Carlozzi, State Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Brad MacDougall, Vice President of Government Affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts also participated.