Werner Braun: Carpet Industry Input Vital to Georgia Economy
In his column that appeared in the October 29, 2010, edition of the Dalton Daily Citizen News titled, Tax Reform Suggestions Will Help Us All, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discussed his experience speaking on behalf of the carpet industry at the final public hearing on Tax Reform and Fairness held earlier that month in Dalton, Georgia.
Mr. Braun appeared at the request of the Carpet and Rug Institute Board of Directors to provide perspective on the magnitude of the carpet industry and its impact on Georgia’s economy. From his article:
“As the representative of Georgia’s largest manufacturing segment, and the state’s second largest overall industry, we felt it was vitally important that our views on tax reform not only be heard, but given stern consideration as this council takes back recommendations to the General Assembly in January.”
Mr. Braun stressed that nearly 70 percent of the carpet produced domestically is manufactured within a 65 mile radius of Dalton. And, because the industry directly employs more than 54,000 people, it makes a huge contribution to the state’s tax pool.
“The carpet industry’s impact is great on this region, this state and the nation. It remains one of the last bastions of U.S. manufacturing as very little carpet is imported into our country.
At the manufacturing mill level, we have seen sales of soft floor covering drop from almost $12 billion in sales in 2007 to $8.6 billion last year. The numbers for this year will be similar based on the estimates we have thus far. Generally, carpet gets marked up anywhere from 15 to 40 percent at the retail level, easily making the industry a solid $15 billion industry.”
In addition to CRI, representatives from several area carpet mills were in attendance to add their voices to the debate on ways to help our economy. The consensus was that the industry needs incentives to expand and put more people back to work.
“As an industry that has collectively made its share of tough decisions, we certainly appreciate the task that has been handed down to this special council (on tax reform)….we understand that the council faces some very difficult choices, not all of which will be politically popular.”
Thank you, Werner.