WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation (NRF) said it welcomed the tax reform legislation that was introduced in Congress and called on legislators to get the measure to President Trump as soon as possible.
“President Trump wants to sign tax reform into law by Christmas, and we think that would be the perfect present for the American people and the U.S. economy,” NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said. “The timetable is ambitious, but it’s absolutely doable. Retailers are committed to getting this done, and the legislation unveiled today shows that Congress is, too. It’s been a full generation since the last time our nation’s tax code was updated. Our economy can’t afford to wait another generation.”
“Tax reform is about more than lowering tax bills,” Shay said. “Reducing corporate taxes will free up resources companies need to create jobs, and bring back investment that has gone overseas to countries with lower rates. When you combine that with middle-class tax cuts, it means more consumers with jobs and money in their pockets, and creates a ripple effect that touches every corner of the economy.”
“There are lots of details in this bill that need to be carefully examined, but we should focus on the art of the possible rather than letting the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Shay said. “Let’s focus on the objective and get the job done.”
Shay was among a select group of business trade association CEOs who recently met with Trump at the White House, and told the president that the retail industry fully supports comprehensive tax reform. Shay added that tax reform is the industry’s top economic policy priority.
House leaders had announced the introduction of a landmark tax bill based on the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code plan released in September following negotiations between the House, Senate and White House. NRF has strongly supported the plan’s proposal to reduce the federal corporate tax rate to 20% from the current 35%, its proposal to tax small business “pass throughs” at 25%, and provisions to reduce personal income taxes for middle-class workers.
A recent NRF analysis found that reducing the corporate tax rate to 20% could result in the creation of between 500,000 and 1.5 million new jobs.
NRF has led the retail industry’s fight for tax reform for years, calling on Congress to eliminate tax breaks that benefit only some industries and to use the revenue saved to lower rates for all companies, including small businesses. Retailers benefit from few of the deductions and tax credits that lower tax bills for other industries, and they pay at or close to the full 35% corporate rate.