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ICYMI | Rep. Smucker Op-Ed: Biden Admin has no plan to prevent tax increases on families, small businesses

June 10, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Republicans recently launched ten Tax Teams to study key tax provisions from the 2017 Trump tax cuts that are set to expire in 2025 and identify legislative solutions that will help families, workers, and small businesses struggling in the Biden economy. In the following op-ed, published recently in the Washington TimesRep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-11), Chairman of the Main Street Tax Team, discusses the work being done to examine tax provisions that benefit small businesses:

The entrepreneurial spirit is foundational to the American identity. Millions of Americans follow their passions every day as small-business owners in our nation’s free enterprise system, which has created more prosperity than any other economic system in the history of the world.

I became a small-business owner after graduating from high school. At the age of 17, I began operating a small construction business, which grew over 25 years to employ hundreds of individuals in family-sustaining jobs.

I’ve seen the obstacles business owners face firsthand. That’s why advocating for small businesses matters to me, and I am honored to have the privilege of leading the House Ways and Means Committee’s Main Street Tax Team.

Under the leadership of Chairman Jason Smith of Missouri, Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee are preparing for 2025, when provisions of the landmark 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, will expire. We are fighting to preserve the changes to our tax code that will help families, workers and small businesses struggling in President Biden’s economy.

The president has made clear his desire for the TCJA to expire. A week after the president’s statement, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s testimony before the Ways and Means Committee further clarified to Americans that the Biden administration has no plan to prevent tax hikes on families and small businesses.

A pivotal moment in Ms. Yellen’s testimony came during a question from my colleague Rep. Vern Buchanan, Florida Republican, who asked Ms. Yellen if the administration intended to preserve Section 199A of the tax code.

Section 199A grants certain pass-through entities a 20% deduction of qualified income on their tax returns. The TCJA implemented this change to promote tax equity between larger corporations and small businesses on Main Street. A pass-through entity is a company in which the income derived from the business is not taxed at the corporate rate but is instead “passed through” and taxed at the individual’s tax rate.

When pressed, Ms. Yellen said she would “need to get back to” my colleague about whether the Biden administration was planning to raise taxes on small businesses on Main Street.

Those words, I am sure, did little to quell the fears held by small businesses that the Biden administration is planning to raise their taxes.

I am leading a growing and bipartisan group of representatives in the House working to make Section 199A permanent; 178 of my House colleagues have co-sponsored my Main Street Tax Certainty Act, which has also been introduced by Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, with 32 co-sponsors.

Our legislation would prevent a massive tax hike on small businesses that would limit their ability to invest in their employees, in making new capital investments, and in their communities.

The TCJA, in particular Section 199A, unleashed a robust economy in which small businesses invested in their communities, creating more jobs and business opportunities. Providing permanency to this critical pro-growth tax policy will ensure that Main Street businesses continue to have a level playing field with corporations and will strengthen communities across the nation.

A recent study indicates that nearly 60% of private sector employees work at companies organized as pass-through entities. Members of the Ways and Means Committee have heard directly from small businesses what the expiration of Section 199A would mean for their businesses.

“When the 20% pass-through deduction expires at the end of 2025, and the individual tax rates increase, our tax bill will be significantly higher. Many small manufacturers are organized as pass-throughs, so our sector will be disproportionately harmed by the expiration of this deduction, severely hampering our growth trajectory,” said Tom Tredway, president of Erie Molded Packaging.

A slower growth trajectory for small businesses, as Mr. Tredway described, means fewer or no new jobs created and fewer or no new capital investments. When businesses do not grow there is less economic opportunity for communities. Section 199A is a proven pro-growth tax policy that Congress must make permanent.

We know what is at stake when Congress considers how to proceed with renewing TCJA. The impacts on Main Street will be profound.

The Main Street Tax Team will look at key components of our tax code, like Section 199A, and ensure small businesses have adequate access to capital. We will work to help small businesses grow, create jobs, and invest in their communities.

When small businesses thrive, our communities thrive.