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Tampa Bay Times: Wednesday’s letters: Reform tax code to help small businesses

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Small business Tax code reform urgently needed

In June, I had the pleasure of traveling to Washington along with the Florida Chamber of Commerce to discuss tax reform on behalf of the Florida Small Business Development Center Network. Many people do not realize that Florida boasts the second highest business ownership rate in the nation — 97 percent of which have 20 or fewer employees. That’s why tax reform must be a top priority for Congress this year. We cannot keep hindering the growth of small businesses any longer.

Under the U.S. system, small businesses can pay tax rates as high as 44.6 percent and, collectively, spend over 240 million hours and $19 billion annually to comply with our exceedingly complicated tax code — considerable time and money diverted from running their business. If we want to fuel a strong job market and attain high economic growth, lawmakers must simplify the tax code, while paying mind to the needs of small businesses.

Our nation’s tax code remains unchanged over the past 30 years, and the consequences of this inaction is clear. Modernizing our tax code to set fair rates and close corporate loopholes will ensure that American businesses remain in America. It’s time to give Americans a tax system that doesn’t constantly work against them and move toward a system that allows them ample opportunity to grow.

Speaking as someone who has spent his career helping small businesses grow and succeed, I can confidently say that tax reform is necessary for sustaining a strong job market and achieving elevated levels of economic growth across the nation. I urge lawmakers to work together to ensure tax reform is passed this year. The time has come to create more jobs, jump-start the economy and foster innovation — and bold tax reform is the only solution.

Michael Myhre, CEO and network state director, Florida SBDC Network, Pensacola

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