Other Views: Congress, stop the double-talk on tax reform

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Bonnie Martin
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A few years ago my husband and I decided to purchase our first small business. The thought of running our own operation was daunting, but our desire to use our business as a venue to give back to our community was ultimately what motivated us to take the leap of faith.

The political climate at the time was challenging at the federal level, and we quickly learned just how overwhelming taxes and regulations could be to budding entrepreneurs. When the campaign season began last year, there was a lot of talk, but what eventually got our attention and our vote was the focus on regulatory reductions and tax reforms for the small business community.

In order for my business to succeed, I must remain competitive with not only larger corporations but online retailers as well. I can assure you that my competitors are not focusing on how to better the community or improve the quality of life for their customers, but I am.

Everyday, I work with men and women in middle America who are the backbone of our domestic labor force. They are builders, machinists and tradesmen that could all use a break.

I could use a break, too. A break from the tax reform rhetoric circling around Washington, D.C., and the political double-talk coming from our lawmakers. As a small business owner and a voter, I was promised tax reform, and the time has come for its delivery.

This fall, the focus will finally be on taxes, which is great news. However, I find it unsettling that talk of leveling the playing field for small business owners seems to have fallen by the wayside.

It is imperative that small business owners receive the same tax rate as larger corporations. The currently proposed rates of 20 percent for corporations and 25 percent for small businesses is simply unacceptable and does not go far enough to deliver on the promise that the small business community will finally receive the tax break it so desperately needs.

I look forward to the day that I can help my customers by cutting my prices once my taxes are reduced, and I will be paying close attention to make sure that our elected officials, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, hold up their end of this bargain.

Bonnie Martin is the owner of Martin Red Wing Shoes in Janesville and a member of the National Federation of Independent Business.

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