NGA Blog

House and Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Tax Reform

Jul 20, 2017

By Mike Gleeson
Director, Government Affairs

As the deadline for overhauling the tax code continues to get pushed back – now to the end of the year – lawmakers are attempting to build momentum for the proposal after returning from the July 4th congressional recess. The House Ways and Means Committee recently held their third – of four – hearings on tax reform led by Tax Policy subcommittee chairman Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL). Despite the hearing's focus on small business taxes, the current House GOP blueprint would create a five percent higher tax rate for 95 percent of American businesses, including independent grocers.

While it’s true that businesses desperately need a lower corporate tax rate, operators shouldn’t have to structure their businesses in a certain way simply because Congress decided to favor one type of legal entity over another. Ahead of the hearing, NGA released the following statement urging lawmakers to create level the playing field so that all businesses can compete fairly:

“America’s independent supermarket industry is serious about achieving once-in-a-generation tax reform that lowers the tax rate, but the current GOP tax blueprint unfairly penalizes businesses based on their company structure. With a high effective tax rate around 34 percent and an average profit margin of one percent, tax reform is crucial for independent grocers to compete.”

The Senate Finance Committee also waded into the discussion with Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) calling for members to discuss the “tough decisions” that come with comprehensive tax reform. In May, NGA President Peter Larkin applauded lawmakers as they took the first steps toward tax reform, saying, “Independent grocers are serious about achieving meaningful tax reform that will significantly lower effective rates for Main Street businesses.”

NGA’s government relations team has been working with lawmakers in both chambers and the Trump Administration to ensure any tax reform package will help the independent supermarket industry continue growing and re-investing in jobs and the local community. In fact, the White House recently invited NGA to participate in a discussion with other food industry companies on the provisions most important to independent grocers.

As lawmakers and the Administration continue to pursue overhauling the tax code – something that hasn’t been done in over 30 years– NGA’s team of lobbyists will work to support a lower tax rate for the industry. To read the principles we believe should guide lawmakers as they consider reform, click HERE.

To sign up for monthly NGA’s Tax Return newsletter, which highlights lawmakers’ attempts to reform the tax code, click HERE.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Mike Gleeson, director of government affairs, via email at MGleeson@nationalgrocers.org.