Johnson Lumber Discusses Taxes, Tariffs With Congresswoman Stefa

Johnson Lumber Discusses Taxes, Tariffs With Congresswoman Stefanik

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It has been a family business for 40 years. Johnson Lumber, near West Carthage employs some 30 workers and is expanding.

But one challenge is taxes.

"County and school taxes, with the new expansion, we're facing being able to create less jobs because of the amount of increased taxes we're going to need to pay," said Tara Johnson, Johnson Lumber.

On Friday, company officials had a sympathetic ear from Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. She says the problem isn't just local taxes, but state and federal, too.

"Both in New York state and at the federal level. This is why tax reform is so critical. It's an issue we're tackling this fall," said Stefanik (R. - 21st District).

Another challenge for companies like this is foreign imports - particularly, lumber from Canada.

The Trump Administration has slapped tariffs on imported Canadian softwood. That may protect U.S. lumber companies short term, but may also lead to increased trade tensions.

"I think this is an ongoing issue and as we discuss modernizing NAFTA, I think it's an issue that needs to be worked out," said Stefanik.

The government policy on either side, is that pretty important?

"It is, it is very crucial to the future of our company," said Johnson.

The company's expansion will create five new jobs directly.

"We've been around for 40 years. We want to be around for 40 more," said Johnson.

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