Open Letter to Congress: Include Three Critical Pro-Growth Provisions in Comprehensive Tax Reform

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June 13, 2017 4:01 pm

On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our millions of supporters, we urge you to swiftly pass comprehensive tax reform that overhauls the tax code for individuals, families, and businesses of all sizes. While advocates of reform may disagree on certain provisions, there is broad consensus that any reform of the corporate code should include three bedrock, free market principles. These are:

Cut the Corporate Tax Rate: The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. The combined federal, state, and local rate of approximately 39 percent is more than triple that of Ireland and nearly double the rates of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Poland and Finland. Economic models estimate that if the United States adopted a rate of 25 percent, the GDP would increase by 2.3 percent and create 425,000 new jobs. Should the Congress adopt President Trump’s proposed tax rate of 15 percent, which would match Canada’s federal rate, the GDP would increase by 4.3 percent and add 786,000 new jobs.

Move to a Territorial System: The U.S. current corporate tax system harms domestic businesses that provide services overseas. Our worldwide tax policy has paralyzed multinational corporations into holding an estimated $2.4 trillion in offshore accounts to avoid paying additional taxes. In the past 15 years, 13 OECD nations have moved from a worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system that exempts all, or most of active foreign earned income from domestic taxation. The U.S. must follow the global trend to remain competitive internationally.

Allow for Full Expensing: It is crucial that any tax reform plan allows full expensing for businesses. The current depreciation system is outdated, and must be modernized to allow businesses to fully and fairly deduct investment materials within the purchasing year. Since different purchases hold different depreciation time periods determined by the IRS, purchase deductions distort business decisions and can delay future investment or consumption by businesses. According to research by the Tax Foundation, implementing full expensing would lead to 5.4 percent higher long-term GDP, create more than 1 million full time jobs, and increase after-tax income by 5.3 percent. Tax reform can be the catalyst that gets the American economy growing again, but only if it makes capital investments at home the easiest, best option for business.

As we work toward a historic overhaul of the tax code, it is essential that this plan is built upon a foundation for corporate reform that includes a significantly lower rate, full expensing, and a territorial system. Omitting any of these three pillars would constitute a missed opportunity to implement true, pro-growth tax reform. Our organizations look forward to working with you to accomplish our shared goal of greater prosperity via fundamental reform.


Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President
National Taxpayers Union

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President
American Action Forum

Dick Patten, President
American Business Defense Council

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO
American Legislative Council

Ashley N. Varner, Executive Director
ALEC Action

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Norm Singleton, President
Campaign for Liberty

Jeffrey Mazzella, President
Center for Individual Freedom

Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman

Adam Brandon, President

Michael Needham, CEO
Heritage Action

Mario H. Lopez, President
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Carrie L. Lukas, President
Independent Women’s Forum

Heather R. Higgins, President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice

Colin Hanna, President
Let Freedom Ring

Gregory T. Angelo, President
Log Cabin Republicans

Pamela Villarreal, Senior Fellow
National Center for Policy Analysis

Lew K. Uhler, Founder and President
National Tax Limitation Committee

Don Racheter, Ph.D., President
Public Interest Institute

Eli Lehrer, President
R Street Institute

Matt Nye, Chairman
Republican Liberty Caucus

Paul J. Gessing, President
Rio Grande Foundation

Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance