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Friday, March 18, 2011

Will Tax Reform “Talk” Turn to Action

U.S. tax rates are uncompetitive. President Obama has acknowledged such, and a team at the U.S. Treasury Department is working on “business tax reform” with a focus on lowering corporate taxes. Key leaders in both political parties seem to want to address our nation’s high corporate tax rate.

This week, I met with key officials at Treasury charged with undertaking this project. Clearly, I noted, the U.S. needs to lower the corporate tax rate in order to stay competitive. However, government leaders cannot forget about small business owners as they look to lower corporate rates, I added. After all, most small businesses are not structured as corporations so it is just as important for our elected officials to be talking about lowering rates for all entrepreneurs and firms.

This week, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) stated he wants to cut the top individual and corporate tax rates to 25 percent. Chairman Camp would eliminate deductions and simplify the system -- an approach long supported by small businesses, given the outrageous complexity (not to add the instability) of our nation’s tax system.

(Read SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating’s Cybercolumn on this topic by clicking here.)

Of course, efforts to reform the tax system have come and gone. Commissions have been appointed; recommendations made, and then shelved. Is it different this time?

Reforming the tax system will take leadership, and hopefully someone with the passion and energy to tackle this critical initiative will step forward.

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

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