Retailers Call Senate Budget Resolution ‘Important First Step’ Toward Tax Reform

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2017 – The National Retail Federation urged the Senate to move forward on tax reform by approving the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution scheduled for a vote today.

“Tax reform is the top priority for our nation’s economy, and approving the budget resolution is an important first step toward unleashing economic growth,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.

“The U.S. has the highest corporate income tax rate in the industrialized world, which causes U.S. companies to move investment out of the country and is a disincentive for foreign companies to make large investments here,” French said. “Reducing the corporate rate will help attract investment to the United States, which will help increase wages and increase consumer spending.”

In a letter to members of the Senate, French said tax reform “will boost the economy, helping small and large retailers as well as our customers.”

The Senate is set to vote today on its version the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, following up on the 219-206 passage of a similar measure in the House on October 5. The two chambers are expected to seek agreement on a final version next week, clearing the way for Congress to begin work on tax reform itself.

Both budget resolutions include “reconciliation” language that would allow a tax reform bill to pass the Senate on a simple majority of 51 votes rather than requiring 60 votes to defeat a filibuster.

In the letter, French cited the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code plan released last month by President Trump and congressional Republicans. French praised the plan’s proposal to reduce the federal corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from the current 35 percent and its proposal to tax small business “pass throughs” at 25 percent. He also welcomed the plan’s proposed doubling of the standard deduction and its increase in the child tax credit, saying both would benefit consumers.

French also cited a recent NRF analysis that found the average employee of a U.S. “C” corporation is paid $4,690 less per year because of high corporate taxes. The analysis said reducing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent could result in higher wages or the creation of between 500,000 and 1.5 million new jobs.

The 35 percent U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the industrialized world. Retailers benefit from few of the deductions and tax credits that lower tax bills for other industries, and pay at or close to the full amount.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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