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The News-Press: Bishop: Congress, give America what it deserves – tax reform

Monday, July 10, 2017

By Barney Bishop 

Individuals, small business owners and corporate professionals are aware of the crushing burden represented by our outdated federal tax code, unchanged since 1986.  It has been an issue throughout my career at Associated Industries of Florida, and as a third-time business-creator. I personally deal with an exceedingly high tax rate and an onerous regulatory framework discouraging investment and expansion. The current tax code is bad for working families and bad for the businesses that would like to employ them. Consequently, America is suffering.

Luckily for small-business owners here in Florida and around the country, Congress and the President seem to finally be turning their focus to complete genuine tax reform rather than, in years past, passing short-term adjustments to the overly complicated current system. The question is, will they be able to pass meaningful tax reform done this year?

One proposed solution is the blueprint created by Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, which would reinvigorate America’s economy and spur job creation by lowering the corporate rate to 20 percent, slashing the small business rate to 25 percent, and applying all regulations and rates uniformly across all sectors; no more complex and punitive measures for successful enterprise.

Whether it is one of the circulating plans by the House Republicans or the recently announced plan by President Trump, it is crucial that the framework Congress decides to work on will grow the economy, create jobs, simplify the tax code and allow businesses to compete both globally and in the U.S.

The defense of the status quo will be fierce, but if America is to retain our leadership of the free world, we must undertake this significant challenge. We must not give up the opportunity to overhaul our complex tax system this year. It has been 31 years since we have addressed meaningful tax reform and America deserves to bring jobs and incentives back to our shores. I encourage everyone to contact your elected officials and promote meaningful tax reform this year.

Barney Bishop III is a small business owner of Barney Bishop Consulting, LLC, immediate past President of the Associated Industries of Florida and former Executive Director for the Florida Democratic Party

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