We need to start considering federal tax reform a present opportunity, instead of a distant possibility. We can create a tax code that is easy to understand. We can reduce rates and ensure equitable competition for small businesses. We can create more than 45,000 new jobs in Virginia over the next decade. This isn’t a fantasy anymore. Recently, we’ve seen compelling evidence from nonpartisan organizations like the Tax Foundation, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and others that real reform is possible—and would have a massive, positive impact on our economy. This year, Congress can and should make tax reform a reality.
Small businesses represent more than abstract values like entrepreneurship and personal investment. They’re an essential element of our economy. According to the NFIB, small businesses produce almost 50 percent of U.S. GDP, and create two-thirds of all new jobs in the country. There’s no doubt that small businesses are a major economic engine. That’s why we cannot continue to stifle them with a cumbersome, outdated, and unfair tax code.
As the owner of a small business, I’m proud to contribute to a local economy that supports our state and nation. As Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Foundation, I’m skeptical of high tax rates that discourage economic growth and slow innovation. It is unacceptable that small businesses pay the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world. Asking local enterprise to bear such a severe tax burden is unjust and counterproductive. If we want our companies to compete in the increasingly global marketplace, we must lower our corporate tax rate to a globally competitive level.
I find the fact that we have the steepest combined corporate tax rate in the industrialized world deeply troubling. It doesn’t take an expert to see how this would drive away investors and deplete our job market. We need a tax system that promotes growth, and encourages those with resources to invest in America. We can’t continue to enforce anti-growth policies and then wonder why local businesses struggle to survive. Lowering the corporate tax rate will allow our businesses to compete with confidence, and bring more jobs back to our nation. And it’s not just the rates that are broken, the code itself is far too complex and is full of loopholes and corporate giveaways.
Virginia businesses should be focused on growth and stability, not tiresome tax compliance issues. Every hour we spend trying to decipher the tax code is a day we could have used to advance our businesses. Every dollar we spend on accounting services makes it harder to hire new staff. While corporations often have assets to find loopholes in the code, small businesses simply don’t have the same capabilities. We must demand a succinct and efficient tax code that puts local competitors on equal footing with large operations.
For decades, these issues contributed to high unemployment and economic stagnation. We can’t afford to let an outdated tax system hold back growth for the communities who need it most. There’s no reason our leaders should procrastinate any longer. Whether we pursue the House GOP Blueprint, the President’s tax plan, or another form of comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform, we must act now.
Small businesses employ almost half of America’s private workforce, but we don’t want to stop there. We want to hire additional millions, expand our services, and contribute to our nation. For us, accomplishing tax reform in 2017 will open doors that have been closed for far too long. Small-business owners will do everything we can to support economic growth. But it is up to Congress to fulfill their promise to enact tax reform. Let’s make this prosperous vision of America a reality.
Small Business Owner