New coalition to push for tax, trade and immigration reform

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 120 views 

A new Arkansas coalition of business owners has formed to push for national tax reform, immigration changes, and expanded trade opportunities.

The Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition announced its formation on Thursday (March 28). The group said it has a network of businesses, local trade associations and concerned individuals “committed to supporting a common sense, pro-growth agenda for America.”

“Business owners and families in Arkansas are frustrated with Washington,” said Martha McCaskill, a Little Rock business owner and founding member of the Arkansas coalition.

“Gridlock has put too many important priorities aside. Businesses need certainty so they can plan for the long term. Uncertainty stifles job creation and investment and holds back economic and wage growth. It’s time for action. Our coalition looks forward to educating members of Congress and residents of this state about the benefits of a pro-growth agenda.”

Arkansas is one of six states to form a coalition under the “Main Street Growth and Opportunity” moniker. California, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee also have coalitions.

A press release from the group said one of its first priorities will be to advocate for passage of tax reform legislation. The coalition cited a draft being discussed in Washington, D.C. led by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan.

Camp’s plan:
• Collapses the current seven federal tax brackets into two – a 10% and 25% bracket;
• Reduces corporate tax rate to 25%;
• Allows for a larger standard deduction for individuals and joint filers;
• Increases the child tax credit and adjusts the credit for inflation;
• Alters mortgage interest deductions to a $500,000 cap;
• Eliminates several credits and deductions, such as interest on education loans, green energy residential improvements, and moving expenses.

“Businesses all across America need Congress to act on comprehensive tax reform. Our tax code is just too complex. We need reform that promotes fairness and stimulates economic growth. Congress needs to stop governing from crisis to crisis and fix our tax code to make it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs,” said State Rep. Allen Kerr, R-Little Rock, a member of the coalition and an insurance executive.

The Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition said it will “start a dialogue with federal lawmakers and state residents” on the economic benefits of tax and immigration reform and expanded trade opportunities in the coming weeks and months.