The House Ways & Means Committee has held its first hearings on tax reform this year and the business community in this country is optimistic that our elected officials may be able to pass legislation to fix our tax code. This is an opportunity that may not come again and it is imperative that something be passed as soon as possible, because the American economy cannot wait another 30 years for reform.
While it would be nearly impossible to find any business owner or working individual who believes that our tax code is a functional system that promotes growth and opportunity, there has been a great deal of criticism around certain aspects of the House GOP tax reform blueprint that could serve to derail this chance to pass meaningful legislation.
Some businesses and the organizations that represent them have come out with vocal opposition to the border adjustment tax (BAT), a main feature of the proposal. Debate around the plan should be encouraged, but we cannot allow this to prevent comprehensive reform from getting accomplished, because the only thing worse than certain provisions in these plans is having to endure our current tax code any longer.
The Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (FSHCC) and our 38 chapters, who proudly work with more than 80,000 minority-owned businesses across the state, stand strongly behind the GOP blueprint, because this proposal has the potential to improve Florida’s economy and put more money into the pockets of our hard-working Floridians. The Tax Foundation estimates that the blueprint will have a positive impact on the state by creating nearly 100,000 jobs and providing over $4,200 in additional funds for Floridians. These are things that can truly make a difference in the lives of our members and for people across the country.
The House GOP tax reform proposal will provide these benefits by simplifying the currently bloated tax code, by setting fairer rates, and by encouraging American companies to do business within our borders rather than investing abroad.
Every small business owner in Florida is unnecessarily burdened by out tax code. They simply do not have the time or the resources to delve into its 70,000 pages then burdening the cost of hiring a CPA to handle it for them. The complexity of the code costs the U.S. economy over $400 billion per year. Our entrepreneurs and small business owners would certainly be able to put their money to better use by investing in their companies and hiring more people.
These wasted resources are compounded by the high rates, up to 40 percent, that our small businesses already face. By freeing up resources and setting manageable rates, the House GOP proposal can strengthen these businesses and allow them to focus on things other than paying Uncle Sam.
The BAT is also a crucial part of this pro-growth tax reform plan, because it will discourage the current epidemic of corporate inversions and make the U.S. the best place to do business. Too many of our great American corporations have moved abroad to avoid our harmful tax code and they have taken their employment opportunities and investments with them. The GOP plan, including border adjustment, will help to grow the economy by 9 percent, increase wages for by 8 percent, and create 1.7 million more jobs, according to the Tax Foundation. The plan simply works to great to get the U.S. economy back on track.
While the FSHCC supports the House GOP blueprint, we will get out in support of any pro-growth tax reform plan that comes out of Congress. An overhaul of our code is long overdue and we hope the business community around the country, regardless of their opinion of BAT or other aspects of any proposals, will rally around getting tax reform done. Everyone knows that we need to change our taxation system and we cannot allow minor differences to halt the entire process.
Julio Fuentes, President of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce