Now that election season is behind us, Floridians can begin to focus on the policy changes being presented on Capitol Hill.
The issues addressed should focus on creating policies that reflect the best interest of our nations constituents. The Florida Concrete and Products Association is particularly concerned with proposals that will increase taxes for small-business owners and consumers.
We need to keep Florida on the right track, moving toward more job creation and better opportunities for working families. Federal dividend and capital gains taxes are set to expire Dec. 31. Depending on income level, the current 2012 tax rates for dividends range from 0 percent to 15 percent. If the current tax rates are allowed to expire, the maximum dividend tax rates will more than double, increasing from the current 15 percent to 39.6 percent, while the tax rate on capital gains would increase from 15 percent to 20 percent.
The U.S. economy is beginning to recover from the global recession, which began three and a half years ago. An increase in dividend tax rates would discourage investment in dividend-paying stocks, create market distortions and threaten our nations uncertain economic recovery.
Current federal legislation, S 1647 and HR 3091, has been filed to extend the current tax rates for the benefit of Floridians and the nation at large, and if passed into law, would allow the current increase in economic activity to remain constant.
The Florida Concrete and Products Association represents more than 175 companies statewide that produce ready-mixed concrete and other innovative materials created from recycled byproducts. Our member companies also provide masonry and admixtures for concrete, making them an essential part of Floridas revitalization.
After several difficult years, we are seeing signs of recovery in the construction industry and we are hopeful for a bright future. If the dividend and capital gains taxes are allowed to increase, our recovery will be in jeopardy as employers will likely be forced to scale back their operations and cut staff and salaries, negating the progress that we have recently made.
This legislation will be a positive step for every employer, and most importantly for employees and retirees across America. As we support the hard-working families that contribute to the U.S. economy as a whole, members of the FC&PA are committed to moving forward with the recovery effort.
We urge Floridians to voice support for the passage of this legislation to their U.S. senators and U.S. representatives, because it will ultimately allow Floridas small businesses to continue to grow and create jobs.
Mike Murtha is president of the Florida Concrete and Products Association.