NEW YORK — Retail associations were quick to praise the tax overhaul enacted late last year as an elixir for the industry.
The sweeping package signed into law by President Donald Trump will dramatically benefit business, workers and consumers, said National Retail Federation president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay. “This is landmark legislation that will boost our nation’s economy more than anything we have seen in decades,” he said. “Middle-class taxpayers are the biggest winners, with significantly more take-home pay thanks to tax cuts and vast new employment opportunities because of tax relief that will help large and small businesses alike create new jobs.”
Consumers finishing up their holiday shopping could rest assured “that there will be more money in their paychecks by the time the bills come due,” he added.
Retailers are winners with the legislation since they receive few of the tax breaks that benefit other sectors and pay the highest effective tax rate of any industry, Shay said. “Lower taxes will help us grow our businesses and offer our customers better value. But the biggest benefit for retailers will come as lower taxes and increased global competitiveness help U.S. companies throughout the economy put more Americans to work and pay them higher wages. Consumers with jobs and money in their pockets benefit the entire economy, including retailers and every job behind every product on our shelves.”
Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, asserted the legislation fulfills the goal of a fairer, more globally competitive tax code providing middle income taxpayers with vital relief. “We applaud the president and Congress for their commitment to reforming the tax code and we look forward to working with the administration on the implementation of these critical reforms,” she said.
“A fairer and more competitive tax code will give retailers the ability to modernize stores, invest in their workforce and continue to transform the shopping experience for consumers. The fierce competition of today’s retail environment means the ultimate winner in tax reform will be our customers.”
Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy officer and senior vice president for government relations at the Food Marketing Institute, noted that food wholesaling and retailing are low-margin, high-tax industries “that have been waiting for just this type of relief to spur investment and create jobs.”
The bill should help fuel industry technology improvements as well as adding jobs, she remarked. “While we would have liked to see more progress in certain areas such as greater parity between the corporate and pass-through rate and full repeal of the estate tax, we’re grateful for a number of changes made during conference, such as allowing estates and trusts access to the reduced pass-through rate.”