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When I founded my small business, Cuisine Unlimited Catering & Special Events, in Salt Lake City, Utah, I wasn’t thinking about economic growth and tax rates. I just wanted to serve my local customers and the community.
Fast forward 37 years, and my passion for the business prompted my involvement in our local chamber of commerce and then my work with the U.S. Chamber. Now, as chair of its Small Business Council, I am paying close attention to the tax reform advancing through Congress on behalf of the millions of businesses represented by the U.S. Chamber.
I will tell anyone who will listen that I will pour any savings from changes to the tax code back into Cuisine Unlimited. I am hopeful that tax cuts will allow for us to buy new stoves and replace some aging delivery vans. When I met with Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, three weeks ago, I told her about my plans to reinvest any savings from tax reform. It was clear from her nodding that she had heard the same thing from hundreds of small business owners across the country.
Now that the U.S. Senate and House have passed separate tax bills, Congress will begin reconciling the different versions and determine how to treat the 96% of America’s 29 million small businesses that pay taxes as individuals. So-called “passthroughs” can be subject to marginal federal tax rates as high as 47%, far above the corporate rate. In the Senate-passed legislation, passthroughs can deduct 23% of their income, which would ultimately mean a smaller tax bill. There are other positive improvements to expensing and accounting rules as well.
But before we got into these details, at the start of the year U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue committed to pushing for pro-growth tax reform that applies to corporations and small business alike. He knows what I know as a small business owner: That economic growth comes from Main Street where employers have historically created two-thirds of the net new jobs and produce almost half of our country’s GDP.
I join Tom Donohue, and the Chamber’s other business advocates, in demanding that the final tax reform language be as pro-growth as possible and bolster the small business community’s ability to hire, innovate, and grow our economy.