By Congressman Steve Austria
As Washington struggles to come up with a jobs plan to help turn our economy around, last week, President Obama unveiled his proposed framework for corporate tax reform. While it acknowledged that the corporate tax rate is too high, this proposal fails to provide details or address the need for a comprehensive overhaul of the current tax code. Additionally, the president recently released his FY 2013 budget request, which did not call for lowering the individual or corporate tax rates and contained more of the same increased tax policies that have failed to put us on a track of economic recovery.
Lowering the corporate tax rate to be more comparative internationally is a step in the right direction but our current tax code is outdated, overcomplicated, and in need of a reform that does not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. It’s estimated that American taxpayers spend over 7 billion hours a year trying to comply with the current filing requirements. Each year taxpayers scan through 60,000 pages and make difficult decisions to choose between calculations from tax credits or deductions. Our tax code is ridden with loopholes and unnecessary complexity that discourages saving and investing. We must simplify our tax code and cut the red tape to ensure a fair tax system for our working and middle class Americans. Congress needs to pass a tax reform package that will help create new jobs not hurt small businesses and hardworking families. Americans deserve a tax code that is simpler, fairer, and will enable U.S. businesses to compete with the rest of the world.
Small businesses owners have cited the cumbersome tax code and uncertainty about the economy as main reasons they are not expanding and creating jobs. We need to work to provide permanent tax relief for our small businesses to give them the certainty they need to reasonably plan, invest and hire. Any real effort for tax reform must ensure small business tax rates are low and provide more certainty for our small business owners and our job creators.