Frequently Asked Questions
What is a check-off program?
What are the benefits of a check-off program?
Does our industry need a check-off program?
What type of programs could benefit from Check-off funding?
Why is it not possible to successfully run these same programs without a Check-off?
How will we fund a Concrete Masonry Check-off program?
What is the proposed amount to be assessed?
How will the Check-off program define a unit?
For the purposes of this program, concrete masonry units are defined as follows: Concrete Masonry Unit, any man-made masonry unit having an actual width of 3 inches or greater manufactured from dry-cast concrete using a block machine.
This following list, while not all-inclusive, provides examples of those types of units that are intended to be covered by this program:
- Gray Concrete Block
- Architectural Concrete Block
- Prefaced Concrete Block
- Concrete Brick (larger than 3 5/8 X 2 X 7 5/8 (bed depth X height X)
- length) used in masonry applications
- Concrete Block intended to be post-tensioned
- Concrete Block intended to be joined by surface
- bonding mortars and materials
- Sound Wall and Fence Units
Other products are specifically excluded. Some notable exclusion are: segmental retaining wall units, concrete pavers, and concrete brick used in utility applications.
Are the funds that will be collected through the proposed CMU Check-off assessment considered a tax?
The CMU Check-off will happen only if a majority of the producers within the concrete masonry industry vote in favor. Once put in place, monies will be managed by an industry nominated board. The assessment funds will only be used to support research, education, and promotion within the industry.
No. The funds that will be collected are generated by an industry-wide assessment voted on by industry members.
What is the difference between a tax and a Check-off assessment?
A tax is a levy imposed and collected by a governmental body without the approval of the individuals or companies who must pay it to fund government and its programs.
How much of the collected funds will be used for administrative costs?
Who will control the funds collected for the Concrete Masonry Check-off program and how will they determine how these funds will be used?
Does the government control funds collected through CMU Check-off Assessments at any point in the process?
The board then manages the allocation, determination of the programs to be funded and oversight of their implementation.
No. The producers will submit their assessments to a third party entity accountable to the board.
How will the industry representatives be selected and how many will be appointed?
Is it possible to participate in the management of a CMU Check-off even if I am not a member of a state, regional, or national association?
You can work with your regional advisory committee to identify programs to be funded for implementation in your region to impact your markets.
Yes. You will have the opportunity to nominate yourself or others for service on the national board or your regional advisory committee.
Will the Concrete Masonry Check-off process create more government intervention in our business?
The administrative aspect of handling the collected funds is born by a third-party that is contracted by and reimbursed for their services by the industry board that is charged with running the program. The program specifically prohibits the oversight agency from sharing any information within and beyond its own agency for any purpose other than its role of program oversight.
No. To enable the concrete masonry industry to assess all producers on a per unit basis and to use this assessment to benefit the industry, the program overall must be congressionally authorized.
Will the small local producer benefit from a Concrete Masonry Check-off program?
Because assessments are based on a per unit basis, small producers pay at the same rate as larger producers resulting in proportionally smaller total contributions. And, the smaller producers often benefit from check-off funded programs that they cannot fund individually. The combined assessment of all producers will empower the industry to fund continuous research, education, and promotional campaigns that will increase market share and the sale of products. This broad base of funding, coupled with the strength of the campaigns and the consistency of the message, will provide a benefit unobtainable through the investment of dollars by a single, local producer or association.
Yes. All producers will benefit from resulting increased awareness and demand for concrete masonry products. Funding is intended to be used to conduct and implement programs at the local and state levels as well as national and regional levels.
What is the role of the associations in the check-off process?
Once the check-off program is adopted, associations will play a critical role in the success of the check-off program. Associations can recommend needed programs and can contract to implement programs funded by the check-off program. The industry needs increased support in those areas where check-off programs can not: advocacy efforts with legislators, regulators, and codes and standards organizations.
Associations within the concrete masonry industry have been assisting with evaluating the value of a check-off program for the concrete masonry and are supporting communication efforts to inform producers within their area about the concept.