Industry groups urge quick action on Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

American Trucking Associations President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Spear sent a letter to members of Congress, expressing ATA’s strong support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and urging for the bill’s swift passage.

The full text of the letter follows:

Dear Members of Congress,

On behalf of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), I write in strong support of HR1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will boost the US economy, promote critical business investment, and create good-paying American jobs. ATA recently hosted President Trump in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and strongly endorsed the tax reform framework that his Administration worked to define with Congress. We are pleased to see this framework now embodied in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, to the benefit of workers, small businesses, and families across the economic spectrum.

Trucking is the backbone of our economy, representing one of every 16 American jobs in the private sector and employing more than 7 million American workers, including 3 million drivers with a median annual income of $55,000. Trucks collect nearly 80% of America’s freight transportation revenue, and serve every community of our nation—80% of which depend solely upon trucks to bring food, clothing, and life’s necessities. And trucking is predominantly a small business industry, with 97% of our companies operating fewer than 20 trucks.

From this perspective, we fully endorse the three basic principles embodied in the tax reform package—lowering tax rates on business income, broadening the tax base to render it more equitable, and significantly simplifying the enormously complex tax code—as they will all benefit motor carriers. Lowering the corporate rate will free up cash to invest in newer, safer, cleaner, and more efficient equipment, while also helping carriers pay drivers more and make necessary investments in workforce development. Broadening the tax base to allow such rate reductions will eliminate special tax breaks enjoyed by industries that are more heavily dominated by large business entities than trucking. Tax simplification will alleviate the very considerable burden of compliance the current tax code imposes on small businesses.

ATA recognizes that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act must now navigate the legislative process, which may result in further modification to some provisions in HR1. However, we believe the package as a whole represents the best chance in thirty years to accomplish the tax reforms that all elements of the American economy so vitally need. Compromises may be necessary, but I urge you to support the expeditious enactment of comprehensive tax reform. None of us can afford to miss the opportunity the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act represents.

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E Sandherr, released the following statement in reaction to the release of a Congressional proposal to reform the federal tax code:

"The tax proposal provides a much-needed framework that will provoke important debate about the best way to improve the tax environment for employers and workers. As Congress and the Trump Administration work to further refine the proposal, we will continue our vigorous advocacy work to ensure the measure benefits construction employers of all types and sizes. In particular, we will work to ensure that pass-through businesses, including the majority of construction firms, also benefit from tax reform. Any failure to address pass-through businesses in the final plan would mean many construction firms would not benefit.

"We will also continue to work with members of Congress to advocate for the inclusion of new infrastructure funding as part of the final tax reform measure. Tax reform provides an excellent opportunity for the president to deliver on his promise of rebuilding America's aging and over-burdened infrastructure. And we will work to make sure the final proposal continues to promote public and private-sector investments in infrastructure through direct federal funding, municipal bonds (including private activity bonds) and public-private partnerships, for example."

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