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Public Policy

NRF joins senators on capitol hill to ‘clearly and loudly’ back small business tax reform

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NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other lawmakers on Capitol Hill today to promote benefits that small businesses would see under tax reform legislation set for a vote later this week.

“From the beginning of this debate … the No. 1 issue for our members was very clearly and loudly tax reform,” Shay said. “Lowering the rate for these businesses is critically important for Main Street retailers and small businesses across the country.”

“These are common-sense reforms and we support them completely,” Shay said. “We hope you get this done — it will be a great Christmas gift for this country and for our nation’s small businesses.”

Shay spoke at a news conference held this morning by McConnell, Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, other senators and Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon.

Shay told the group that shopping from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday was strong, and that one of the reasons was “because optimism is so high about the work the Senate is doing” along with the House and White House to pass tax reform.

“From the beginning of this debate … the No. 1 issue for our members was very clearly and loudly tax reform.”
Matthew Shay

An estimated 95 percent of the nation’s 3.6 million retail businesses operate a single location while 98 percent have 50 employees or fewer, showing that most retailers “are truly small businesses,” he said.

Small business provisions included in the Senate tax reform bill are “incredibly important,” including a 17.4 percent deduction for “pass-throughs” that pay tax on their business income as part of owners’ personal income taxes, Shay said. He also cited provisions on accounting and inventory methods and promotion of investment in small businesses.

"If we give middle-class Americans a tax cut and we support businesses, we’re going to increase wages, we’re going to grow businesses and we’re going to drive investment,” Shay said. “That would be good for small businesses, pass-throughs, large businesses and, most importantly, consumers and voters and people across this country.”

The Senate tax reform bill, which would also reduce the federal corporate tax rate to 20 percent from the current 35 percent and provide tax relief for middle-class taxpayers, is scheduled for a vote on Thursday. The House has already passed its bill, which would set the same rate for corporations and cap taxes for pass-throughs at 25 percent while also providing middle-class relief. Following Senate passage, the two chambers will negotiate on a final bill that President Trump wants to sign by Christmas Eve.

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Tax Reform
Tax reform

With few of the credits and deductions that ease other industries’ tax burdens, retailers pay the highest taxes of any industry.