Tax Reform 2017: Are Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs a Priority?

By at 6 August, 2017, 11:08 am

By Karen Kerrigan-   

The White House, GOP Senate and House congressional leaders, and the key tax writing chairmen are on the same page when it comes to reforming our nation’s tax system.  The “Big 6” as they are called, issued a joint statement agreeing to key principles and want tax reform completed in 2017.  Most importantly, small business tax relief and reform is at the center of this effort.

The statement called for lower tax rates for small businesses – indeed for all businesses, allowing for “unprecedented” capital expensing, a system that is fair and simple, and reforms that are permanent.

Join the Movement and Sign the Small Business Letter to Congress Urging the COMPLETION of Tax Reform in 2017! Click the image above to sign the letter.

As I noted in a media release following the release of the Big 6 statement:

“Reforming our nation’s tax system is a top priority for small businesses and American entrepreneurs.  Bold reform is critical to stronger entrepreneurship and new business creation in America, which is at a 40-year low and is undermining economic opportunity and hope for so many Americans.

“Entrepreneurs are reassured that the promise of fundamental tax reform continues to advance forward. We look forward to our continued work with leaders in the Congress and key people in the White House who have continuously provided small business owners and our organization with the opportunity to provide input and ideas.

“There is energy and momentum behind tax reform, and our organization and its small business members are confident that through the leadership of House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady that our nation will soon have a tax system that is fair, more simple and pro-growth.  We are well on our way to a modern tax system that encourages small business success, robust capital formation and entrepreneurship in America.”

Listen to my August 1 interview segment on tax reform with Jim Blasingame on the Small Business Advocate radio show.

Small Business Advocates in the Congress

SBE Council’s strong advocacy and support for tax reform has been reinforced by key small business “watchdogs” in the House and Senate. House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) has held numerous hearings over the years on the need to simplify our complex tax system and to lower rates for small businesses. In the current debate and discussion on tax reform he has remained adamant that small businesses have a voice in tax reform, and the unique need of entrepreneurs be addressed.

Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent a letter on August 2, co-signed by the Ranking Chairwoman Jeanne Shaheen (R-NH), which urged the tax writing committees to focus on reducing complexity, and compliance and accounting costs.

Make no mistake, the voice of small businesses will not be dismissed or ignored by Washington on tax reform.  All the key leaders understand the need to bolster small business growth and competitiveness, and enact a system that encourages investment, capital formation and more entrepreneurial activity in America. But that does not mean entrepreneurs can sit idle during this critical period (more on this below.)

See SBE Council chief economist Ray Keating’s Op-ed in The Hill on why tax reform and relief matters to small businesses and U.S. entrepreneurship.

White House Commitment to Tax Reform and Small Businesses

President Trump pledged to “cut burdensome taxes” on small businesses at an August 1 White House event, which celebrated entrepreneurs.

President Trump has not backed down from the bold tax plan that he touted on the 2016 campaign trail.  As recently as August 1, at a White House event with small business owners, the President reaffirmed his commitment to “cut burdensome taxes.” On the issue of tax reform as well as other priorities he pledged that his administration will be with entrepreneurs “every single step of the way.”

The “Big 6” group includes heavyweights from the White House and Administration – National Economic Council Director Gary Cohen and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Again, the statement by this group was unmistakable about small business being a priority in a negotiated tax package.

Getting a bold tax reform package to President Trump this year will be very tough without the insistent engagement of entrepreneurs and small business owners.  If there ever was a time to put your House member or U.S. Senators on speed dial, or to send them daily thoughts on the importance of tax reform for your business and workforce via email or social media – now is the time!

Get Active! If you haven’t already done so, sign up for SBE Council’s alerts and enews here (you can join as an Advocate for FREE), and we will keep you updated on the progress of tax reform and when your voice is needed.

August Recess: Attend a Town Hall meetingHere is a list of upcoming town hall meetings where you can voice your support for tax reform, and why lowering rates, simplicity, expensing and permanence are important to your small business and employees.

Powerful political interests are attempting to undermine successful legislative victories (as we witnessed with fixing Obamacare) and we cannot allow that to happen with tax reform. It is too critical to the future of American opportunity, and the jobs, innovation and dynamism that are created by our nation’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Related SBE Council resources and reports on tax reform:

Tax Reform Heating Up, August 2, 2017 blog post.

Small Business to Congress: Tax Reform Must Be Enacted in 2017, July 17, 2017 press release.

Open Letter to Senate and House Leadership on Tax Reform, July 17, 2017.

How Tax Reform Will Help Small Business Growth and Create Jobs, July 13, 2017, written statement for the record by Karen Kerrigan, House Ways and Means Committee.

U.S. Individual Income Tax Rate Ranks Poorly Internationally, May 19 blog post.

U.S. Has Second Highest Corporate Income Tax Rate on the Planet, May 17 blog post.


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