Client News

Sun Sentinel: The numbers demand tax code reform now | Opinion

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

By Lourdes Martin-Rosa

America’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and yet our tax code is at odds with this reality. As lawmakers weigh the first major tax reform in more than 30 years, we have an opportunity to level the playing field for all businesses, especially those that are women-owned.

I’m the founder of Government Business Solutions, a Florida-based firm that provides small businesses clients with specialized solutions for improving productivity and visibility within commercial markets and federal agencies. I know firsthand that women entrepreneurs — the vast majority of whom own small businesses — are disadvantaged by a convoluted tax code.

The number of women business owners nationally has more than doubled since 1986, skyrocketing from 4.1 million to more than 10 million today, a figure that represents more than a third of U.S. companies. Their growth rate exceeds that of male business owners by 4 to 1 and they contribute $1.6 trillion to the economy while employing 9 million people.

According to a November 2016 report by Florida’s Small Business Development Center, the percentage of women business owners within the state grew along the lines of national trends, from 26 percent of Florida business owners in 1997 to 38.5 percent in 2012.

These figures demonstrate that women business owners have vast economic potential and Florida’s female entrepreneurs stand to be empowered through tax reform.

Women Impacting Public Policy, a national nonpartisan organization advocating for women on Capitol Hill, and of which I am a member, outlines a number of policy recommendations lawmakers can follow to help women entrepreneurs in its 2017 Economic Blueprint.

The blueprint calls for simplifying the tax code to make paying taxes a straightforward process. The current code is financially burdensome and time consuming for small companies.

In addition, we need tax reform that is fair for every business — not a system that favors some companies over others.

Finally, since our economic ecosystem depends on cooperation between businesses that vary greatly in size and structure, tax reform must set a fair rate for all businesses. Given that 90 percent of all businesses are pass-through entities, reform should address the individual tax rate as well as the corporate rate.

Despite partisan rancor in Washington, tax reform is a top priority for Republicans and Democrats alike. To date, however, neither the Senate Committee on Finance nor the House Committee on Ways and Means has held a full hearing to assess the impact of the tax code’s small business tax expenditures on women business owners.

I’m grateful WIPP worked with Caroline Bruckner, managing director of the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University, on her June 2017 report. Bruckner’s report found that three out of four key tax provisions designed to spark investment in small businesses leave out the kinds of businesses women tend to own, which means women potentially miss out on more than $255 billion in incentives.

Now is the time for leaders in both parties to work together and comprehensively reform our tax code so it is both simple and fair for every taxpayer and business owner. I look forward to monitoring the legislation with WIPP in hopes that all businesses are given a chance to grow and thrive.

Lourdes Martin-Rosa is the founder and president of Government Business Solutions, a firm based in Miami, dedicated to providing services ranging from program management solutions to implementation.


Read here:

« Return to News