Business Leaders Meet With White House Officials; Small Business Left Out of House Hearing on Tax Reform and Jobs

Contact: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, bobkeener@businessforsharedprosperity.org

Washington, DC, June 2, 2011- The House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing on tax reform and jobs Thursday morning without small business, the engine of job creation. “It’s unfortunate that a hearing about job creation and tax reform doesn’t have room for the voice of small business,” said Frank Knapp, President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “We want reform that is fair to all businesses and provides adequate funding for the public services and infrastructure upon which all businesses depend.”

Mr. Knapp will submit written testimony on behalf of a network of business organizations who have signed a letter calling upon Congress to generate more revenue and create a level playing field by closing tax loopholes that favor U.S. multinational corporations and opposing short and permanent tax holidays on profits parked overseas. Mr. Knapp is a member of Business for Shared Prosperity, which sponsored the letter co-signed by the American Sustainable Business Council, the Main Street Alliance, American Made Alliance, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, Green America and others.

Scott Klinger, Tax Policy Director for Business for Shared Prosperity, and Executive Director Holly Sklar, will join Mr. Knapp and other members of the American Sustainable Business Council, a partnership of 35 business organizations, in a meeting with White House officials Thursday afternoon to present strategies for revitalizing the economy and creating good jobs. “Over the last sixty years, the costs of paying for government have been steadily shifted off of the largest and most prosperous corporations and onto small and mid- sized businesses and the middle class. That’s what needs reforming,” said Klinger. “In the 1950s, corporate income taxes accounted for one third of federal revenues; today they make up less than a tenth. Corporate tax avoidance is undermining our economy and our global competitiveness.”

Mr. Klinger’s remarks in the White House meeting and Mr. Knapp’s written testimony make three main points about corporate tax reform:

1)      It should be revenue positive, not lock in corporate taxes at an historical low share of total federal government revenue.

2)      It should not contain short or long-term tax holidays on profits parked in overseas tax havens.

3)      It should assure that ALL companies pay their fair share toward the cost of government, including the public services and infrastructure we need for a strong economy and job creation.

“Big U.S. corporations are presently sitting on record levels of cash. If they wanted to build new plants and hire more employees, they have plenty of resources to do so now,” said Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite Associates, a custom woodworking company, in Bloomfield, NJ who serves on the executive committee of the Main Street Alliance.  “It is counterproductive to give more loopholes, tax cuts and subsidies to U.S. multinationals while cutting programs and public investment needed to revitalize our economy.”

Mr. Knapp’s full testimony is available on Google Docs: http://bit.ly/myzpfd

Business for Shared Prosperity is a network of forward-thinking business owners, executives and investors.

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