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Nevada small businesses cannot thrive without comprehensive tax reform

Starting a business from scratch is hard work. It’s also very expensive. Once a business is up and running, growing that business becomes even more expensive. I have firsthand experience with this, as with passion and dedication I started my own company, See Us Now Staffing.

Throughout my years as a small business owner, I have looked in awe and inspiration at companies that grow from tiny start-ups into global corporations. I would like to expand my business beyond Las Vegas, but there is a major hurdle in my way: an overly complicated and burdensome federal tax code. Simply abiding by it has quickly become a major drain on my budget.

But I’m not the only one. Earlier this year, the National Taxpayers Union assessed the economic value of the compliance burden of the federal tax code at roughly $262 billion. Nearly $34 billion of that sum was for out-of-pocket expenses that went toward tax-preparation assistance. Six billion hours are spent annually just preparing taxes. That’s why I signed this letter sent by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council along with nine other Nevada small businesses calling on House and Senate leadership to prioritize comprehensive tax reform.

The resources that I dedicate toward navigating the federal tax code could be used to expand my business beyond Las Vegas or hire more employees here. We have an increasingly global economy that our current tax code prevents many businesses, regardless of size, from competing in.

Our federal tax code is antiquated. The last time it was it was overhauled was in 1986, when the economic and political climates were vastly different from today. It is high time that Congress successfully passes a tax reform bill that allows business owners to grow in the modern economy.

The House GOP leadership has already come up with a comprehensive tax reform plan that would change the landscape to make it easier for Americans to start their own businesses while giving small businesses the ability to refocus the time and money spent on tax preparation to actual growth. It would lower rates for individuals as well as large and small businesses and allow full expensing of capital investments.

According to the Tax Foundation, the House GOP tax plan would increase wages by 7.7 percent and add some 1.7 million jobs nationally. It also allows subchapter S and small businesses to pay a tax rate of no more than 25 percent. This is key as many file through the individual side of the tax code with rates often reaching as high as nearly 44 percent. In the state of Nevada alone, the plan would add 15,043 full-time jobs and increase after-tax income for median households by $4,525.

The White House also has come forward with a tax reform plan of its own that mirrors the House plan and House Republicans have shown that they will work together with the Trump Administration on a single plan for pro-growth comprehensive tax reform.

If they can successfully collaborate on a tax reform plan, and Democrats and Republicans can come together to get a bill passed, small businesses — along with working families — will be relieved of the burden of an exceedingly high tax rate.

Small businesses cannot, and will not, be able to grow at the increasing pace of the global economy with a tax code that is more than 30 years old. Nevada’s Congressional delegation has a chance to pass legislation that will make it easier for Americans like me to start and grow their businesses, and put more money in the pockets of consumers. Let’s hope they don’t let it pass them by.

Laura Nowlan is the president of See Us Now Staffing, a company that specializes in light industrial and trades job fulfillment in Las Vegas.

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