Most opportunities only come around once in a lifetime. With tax reform, that statement could not ring any truer. For the past 30 years, American business owners have been suffering under a tax code that is outdated, overly complicated, and filled with loopholes that put small businesses at a disadvantage. Reforming the tax code is a necessity to see America's businesses and economy thrive. Congress has a once in a generation opportunity to reform the tax code, simplify it and make it in line with American pro-growth ideals. The only thing standing in the way is themselves.
Republicans were voted into power under promises of reforming the tax code. Three fourths of Republican voters view tax reform as a "very important" issue. It is concerning to see arguments and drama in Washington distract competent lawmakers from the most important economic issue we face today. With small businesses paying combined state and federal tax rates as high as 39%, owners are struggling to not only flourish, but to remain open. Republicans must come together and offer support to those who not only believed their promises of tax relief, but also depend on them to raise wages and grow jobs by reforming the tax code.
As a county supervisor, small business owners consistently come to me with fears about possible outcomes if tax reform doesn't happen quickly. Their fears include having to let go of employees or closing down the business due to lack of ability to compete. It is time to get back to our roots and promote investment and competition throughout the county.
Tax reform is especially important for Californians. A recent study by the Tax Foundation found that under the House GOP "Better Way" tax reform blueprint, the average Californian would receive $5,536 in additional after-tax income. That is almost $6,000 in Californians' pockets that can be used to reinvest in businesses across the state, start savings accounts, pay off debt and grow the economy.
In addition, the blueprint would bring more than 190,000 jobs to California. The only way to kick start this cycle of growth is for Washington to come together. Whether it's the House GOP tax plan or President Trump's one-pager, Congress has the opportunity to cut our exorbitantly high tax rates and offer relief for small businesses.
The idea of tax reform is not a new concept. Members on both sides of the aisle are aware of the fact that tax reform is needed. However, it seems Congress has not yet understood the urgency of the matter. American business owners are struggling every day and it is time for Congress to support America's backbone and deliver on promises to revitalize the economy. Washington, we're waiting.
Jim DeMartini is a member of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors who represents Ceres.