Small Businesses to Supercommittee: Tax Reform Should Restore Lost Revenue, Not Reward Tax Dodgers

For Immediate Release: 
November 1, 2011

Business networks champion tax reforms that raise revenues to invest in America's future, counter push from corporate lobbyists for more tax breaks

Washington, DC -Today, three business networks – Business for Shared Prosperity, the Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council – submitted a joint letter to the Congressional Supercommittee on the deficit. The letter urges Supercommittee members to support tax reforms that raise revenues to restore America’s economic vitality, countering an all-out push from big business lobbyists for even more corporate tax breaks as the Supercommittee’s November 23 deadline looms.

“If I were a businessman competing with America, I’d be applauding more tax cuts for U.S. megacorporations and millionaires,” said Lew Prince, managing partner of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis, MO with 22 employees, and Business for Shared Prosperity member. “Instead of investing in the 21st century education, research and infrastructure we need to create jobs today and succeed in the future, we’re laying off teachers and letting our middle class crumble along with our bridges. The last thing we need is more cutbacks to pay for more tax cuts at the top.”

The joint letter outlines four core principles to ensure that tax reforms strengthen our economy:

  • The corporate tax code should ensure that all companies – large and small – pay a realistic and fair share toward the cost of public infrastructure and government services that underpin our economy.
  • The tax code should promote a level playing field between large multinational corporations and smaller, domestic businesses. We need to close loopholes that allow large multinational corporations to avoid their tax obligations by shifting U.S. profits offshore, rather than rewarding firms engaging in this practice with either short or permanent tax holidays.
  • Corporate tax reform needs to be revenue positive. It makes no sense to freeze the corporate income tax component of federal revenues at historically low levels, much less reduce them further.
  • The tax code should reflect longstanding principles of tax progressivity, in which those with higher incomes pay a larger share in taxes than those with lower incomes.

Business for Shared Prosperity, the Main Street Alliance, the American Sustainable Business Council and more than 300 other business organizations, owners and executives have signed a new petition, still collecting signatures, in support of corporate tax reform based on the principles above.

“Let me get this straight – the same corporate players that routinely use their market power to steamroll over small businesses are now asking us to foot the bill for their tax holidays?” said Aimee McQuilkin, owner of Betty’s Divine in Missoula, MT, referring to a push by the “WIN America Campaign” for a temporary or even permanent tax holiday for the return of off-shored profits. McQuilkin serves on the steering committee of the Montana Small Business Alliance, affiliated with the national Main Street Alliance network. “Enough is enough,” she added. “If you want to fly the American flag outside your corporate headquarters, you should be paying your way.”

More than 1,200 business people have signed onto a longer-standing Business Against Tax Haven Abuse statement.

“We need tax reform that rewards the real job creators, not the job destroyers,” said Frank Knapp, President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairman of the American Sustainable Business Council. “We need tax revenue to invest in a sustainable economy, not more tax and budget cuts that take money from Main Street customers while lining the pockets of quick buck artists on Wall Street.”

“Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” said Scott Klinger, tax policy director of Business for Shared Prosperity. “We can’t cut our way to recovery: The corporate tax share of federal receipts is already just 9%, way down from 32% in 1952. We need tax reform that stops corporate tax dodging instead of rewards it, levels the playing field between big business and small, and raises the revenues we need to rebuild our economy.”

“I’m tired of corporations cloaking their demand for more tax breaks in the guise of creating jobs, even as they lay off American workers,” said Jody Gorran, chairman of Aquatherm Industries Inc, in Lakewood, NJ, and a business member of the American Sustainable Business Council. “They can stop piling up record cash and begin hiring tomorrow. My company has been manufacturing in New Jersey for 22 years. It’s time for big corporations to stop passing the buck, pay their fair share in taxes and create jobs here at home.”

“At a time of unprecedented long-term unemployment, a glaring need for investment in our crumbling infrastructure and an educated workforce, and a realization that some of our largest banks and Fortune 500 companies are sitting on trillions of dollars – unwilling or unable to invest and hire American workers – our government has a responsibility to raise the revenues necessary to assure our economic recovery,” said Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, Oregon and co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon. “There’s no excuse for delay now, given the length and depth of our current economic crisis.”

Note to editors: Small business owners available for comment.

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Business for Shared Prosperity is a network of forward thinking business owners, executives and investors. BSP has organized petitions for positive corporate tax reform and for ending top-rate tax cuts, and produced related reports. BSP is a member of the American Sustainable Business Council. www.businessforsharedprosperity.org

The American Sustainable Business Council is a growing coalition of business networks and businesses committed to advancing policies that support a vibrant and sustainable economy. Today, the organizations in this partnership represent over 100,000 businesses and more than 200,000 entrepreneurs, owners, executives and investors. www.asbcouncil.org

The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. MSA creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies. www.mainstreetalliance.org

 

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