Opinion: Tax Reform Will Boost the Economy


By Guy Ciarrocchi

Congress must deliver on tax reform to get our economy moving.

Our federal tax code is too big, too confusing — and is an enormous impediment to creating jobs. Our federal tax rates are the highest in the free world — a huge disincentive to investing in new American companies.

As president and CEO of the Chester County Chamber, I know that no other issue is more important than this — although reducing and simplifying Washington’s tortuous pile of red tape and regulations runs a very close second.

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The biggest complaint about the tax code is how hard it is to simply pay what is owed. Not only our largest employers, but also our region’s countless medium and small businesses waste — yes, waste — millions of hours simply trying to comply with tax laws, rules, and formulas. This is time and money that could be spent on innovation and job creation.

Small-business owners are either forced to contend with the thousands upon thousands of pages to figure out how much they owe or they can divert vital resources and hire accountants to prepare their taxes for them. Congress must get to work to make this entire process easier so  the job creators in this country can devote more time and energy to improving their businesses.

What’s worse are the astronomically high tax rates business owners are charged. How are businesses supposed to make it if they are forced to pay federal rates as high as 40 percent? And this problem is compounded for our members because Pennsylvania has the highest state corporate taxes in the nation. With all this, we still have some legislators wondering why businesses and new investments go offshore to various points around the world.

After so much was promised in last year’s election, our elected officials need to deliver a major victory for job creation. Tax reform would help everyone. We cannot afford to be let down, and our business owners cannot continue to work through this maze of taxes — and with an IRS too willing to play “gotcha.”

Of course, we need taxes to pay for our defense, roads, and those in need. But we also need a new, modern tax code that not only pays for what is essential but that also eases the burdens the current code places on small businesses and entrepreneurs. We need laws that collect needed revenue but that don’t discourage growth and investment.

Across Pennsylvania, we have more than 1 million small businesses that employ nearly 2.5 million workers. They and the rest of the commonwealth will see a big jump in the economy if we simply lift the weight our current code places on these entrepreneurs.

We cannot wait any longer. Congress must act now to unleash the power of American creativity and our second-to-none work ethic.


Guy Ciarrocchi is president and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. He can be reached via email at guy@cccbi.org or telephone at (610) 725-9100.

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Top photo credit: bmward_2000 The Capital Building via photopin (license)

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