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NRF: Jobs, Economy Key Measures of Tax Reform

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With Congress hoping to adopt comprehensive tax reform this year, NRF is telling lawmakers an update of the nation’s tax system is essential to the continuing economic recovery.

“The most important aspect of any tax reform measure is its impact on the economy, jobs and the consumer,” NRF vice president and tax counsel Rachelle Bernstein wrote in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, which is developing proposals for tax reform that will be considered over the next several months. “The U.S. economy is coming out of the worst recession since the Great Depression, but economists predict that economic growth may continue to be slow, which will also continue to depress consumer spending. Tax reform can provide a much-needed stimulus to the economy and should be enacted as expeditiously as possible.”

Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, says he wants to bring a tax reform bill to the House floor by the end of the year.

NRF asked that the committee consider principles adopted in January by the NRF Board of Directors that call for measures that would eliminate tax breaks that benefit only a few industries and use the revenue that would be saved to lower tax rates for all businesses. NRF believes tax reform should benefit both corporations and small businesses and be neutral on issues like whether retailers own or lease their stores and bricks-and-mortar sales vs. online sales.

NRF is opposed to any form of consumption tax, and believes temporary tax provisions should be eliminated in order to provide certainty. Tax reform should also provide a transition period so businesses are not penalized for decisions made in the past.