Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley-Waite LLC in Kenilworth, NJ
"The new Republican tax law has the potential to devastate my business. My wife and I own a custom woodworking business in Kenilworth, New Jersey. The bulk of our business is conducted in New York City and the tax law — which limits the deductibility of state and local taxes — has already sent the City’s residential real estate market into a tailspin.
"Home sales are on the decline. If people are not purchasing homes, they definitely aren’t renovating their homes and engaging our custom carpentry services. This could be incredibly damaging to our business.
"It’s extremely frustrating when government policy sows the seeds of uncertainty into a market that we depend on for our livelihood. The changes to tax policy in the 1990’s forced us out of the commercial market, but we found a new niche in the residential market. Working in NYC is not easy, but for over 30 years we have run a successful business that now employs 15 crafts people.
"If the New York real estate market is upended, the only people who will be able to afford to purchase and renovate their homes will be the Russian oligarchs buying up Park Avenue. My future financial security shouldn’t depend on a Russian oligarch because Republicans want to give a trillion-dollar tax break to their wealthy donors.
"Instead of a tax giveaway to ultra-rich, we should be investing in repairing and modernizing the country’s crumbling infrastructure, including a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River that will relieve both rail and ground transportation congestion while markedly improving the flow of goods and people up and down the East Coast."
Kelly Conklin is the owner of Foley-Waite LLC, a custom woodworking business in Kenilworth, New Jersey. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Main Street Alliance, a national small business network.