Client News

Tallahassee Democrat: Carole Jean Jordan: On Tax Day, consider burden on business

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day marks the end of one of the most stressful times for small-business owners and individuals alike. The task of filing taxes has become a daunting and often expensive one.

I encourage lawmakers and regular citizens to stop by some of their favorite local stores and ask the small-business owners if their taxes are an impediment to growth and success. If they’re like me, almost every single one will reply with a hearty “Yes!” because business taxes are too high and too complicated.

For the economy to rebound, we need to make it easier for businesses to function and grow, not harder. In order to do that, small businesses need comprehensive tax reform to ease their administrative burdens, and lower taxes so they can be more competitive in the global marketplace and put more money back into their companies and employees.

That’s why I’ve joined my fellow small-business owners and community leaders at the Main Street Growth & Opportunity Coalition-Florida. Our goal is to encourage Congress to pass meaningful tax reform legislation this year, as well as work toward fixing our broken trade and immigration systems, to help promote robust economic growth and job creation.

American businesses pay the highest corporate tax rate in the world. A punishingly high tax rate makes it harder for small businesses to remain competitive in a world where many of our rivals already have much lower costs associated with labor and materials. Lowering business taxes would put more money in the pockets of hardworking small-business owners so they could reinvest in their businesses and in the things that grow our economy like wage increases, new hires, expansions and new ventures.

We also need to simplify the tax code and make it easier for businesses to figure, file and pay for their annual federal taxes. This is not news to anyone old enough to pay taxes. Tax preparation is so overwhelming that more than half of individual taxpayers and nearly three-quarters of unincorporated businesses now pay someone to do it for them. Many others pay for tax preparation software.

The system is a mess.

There have been approximately 4,680 changes to the tax code since 2001 — an average of about one a day. Taxpayers are having to spend ever more of their money just to ensure they are in compliance.

If my family business had more money freed up from lower taxes and fewer tax-related administrative costs, it would go toward my business and would benefit my community in the form of job creation and economic activity.

It’s time for Congress to act on tax reform, as well as other issues that are important to small businesses, like immigration and trade.

On trade, we need congressional action now on Trade Promotion Authority, which will streamline the process for approving new trade deals with Europe and Asia, opening those markets up to our exports.

Congress also needs to find a better way to handle our nation’s immigration problems. Regardless of which side you are on in the immigration debate, we can all agree that the immigration system itself is utterly broken. What this means for businesses is great uncertainty in the employment marketplace, which holds us back from making new hires and investing in new enterprises.

Small businesses are coming together — here in Florida and across the country — to fight for job-creating, pro-growth policies. We encourage Congress to start by lowering taxes and simplifying the tax code for the benefit of hard-working small-business owners everywhere.

Carole Jean Jordan has owned a successful small-family business in Vero Beach for more than 40 years. She also is the Indian River County Tax Collector.

« Return to News