Retailers Ask Congress Not to Shift Tax Burden to Consumers

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 19, 2017

Here in Congress, we have a historic opportunity to achieve tangible, meaningful results for Wisconsinites across the state and Americans across the country including the crown jewel of job creation: Tax reform.

"Today's high tax rates on American businesses drive good-paying jobs overseas and make it more hard for our job creators and workers to succeed here at home", Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady said. No small business should pay a higher tax rate than they do now, and small businesses should not face a higher tax rate than large corporations, which would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

"And, he's calling on the House and [the] Senate to put forward our best ideas", said Mr. Brady, Texas Republican. "Our committee is ready to answer that call".

"Topping the list of economic concerns for small business owners is the US tax system", she said. Democrats want tax cuts to focus on the middle class and low-income taxpayers.

Tax reform won't just help Wisconsin's families, but small businesses as well.

Wall Street and corporate executives urged lawmakers on Thursday to pursue a permanent tax reform package that avoids expanding the federal deficit as a way to drive US economic growth, investment and job creation.

Brady did, however, praise the president for "leading the charge for bold tax reform", but the details of the hearing suggested he is not taking Trump's recommendations literally. "An expanding economy increases demand for labor and pushes wages higher". The plan also includes a proposal for a 20 percent border adjustment tax on imports, which French said would cause an even steeper decline in spending. "And it would grow GDP by 2.2 percent over 10 years".

John Stephens, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer of AT&T, said that when his executives make "consistent, significant, material, capital investments", it's helpful to have long-term knowledge of the tax rules. "The U.S. remains a 'tax outlier, '" he said. It is time for a change. In comprehensive reform, there will be trade-offs. "And the policies and practices of our global competitors have also evolved, in many cases to our detriment".

Zachary Mottl, chief alignment officer of Atlas Tool Works, a family owned manufacturing company in IL, spoke on behalf of the state's Technology and Manufacturing Association. "The shift from non-border adjustable to border adjustable taxes is their strategic secret, one that the USA government has not, in the past, figured out. They're really excited about fixing this broken tax code", he said. "Much of it was written decades ago, and it fails to account for today's internationally competitive environment". "It would seem to me there's a real premium on permanence".

Thursday's hearing was the first in a series of Ways and Means hearings on tax reform.

David N. Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Co., testified on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, where he chairs the board.

Despite some of the political turmoil in the Trump administration, Brady said he is still confident that Republicans can finish a tax bill by the end of this year.

House and Senate Republicans and the White House have been in frequent communication on the issue and generally agree that they want to see tax rates lowered for individuals, corporations and small businesses, but are still working to coalesce around a unified plan.

At least one outside group was skeptical about the hearings, however. Unfortunately, the panel of witnesses for today's hearing is largely made up of representatives of various major corporations that are beneficiaries of the loopholes in our current corporate tax laws. "Instead of leveling the playing field, the executives called on Congress to create an even greater incentive to move additional jobs and money offshore in the future".

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