NRF: Tax Bill a Win for Retailers, Consumers
The National Retail Federation (NRF) yesterday praised passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most sweeping change in U.S. tax laws since 1986, as a job-creating measure. The bill includes deep tax cuts for businesses and tax reductions for middle-class consumers, which proponents — including the NRF — say will spur economic growth at a time when retailers can really use it.
“Passage of tax reform is a major victory for retailers, who currently pay the highest tax rate of any business sector, and for the millions of consumers they serve every single day," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF. "Our priorities were clear: reform must jump-start the economy, encourage companies to invest here in the United States, increase wages and expand opportunities for employees, and protect our small business community, of which the vast majority are retailers. That’s exactly what this legislation will achieve. Most importantly, this historic tax reform will put more money in the pockets of consumers — the best Christmas gift middle-class Americans could ask for this holiday season.” The House and Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act yesterday, and it will now be sent to President Trump to sign. He has promised to sign it by Christmas.
Total Retail's Take: The passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a coup for the NRF, which has led the retail industry’s fight for tax reform for years, calling on Congress to eliminate tax breaks that benefit only some industries and to use the revenue saved to lower rates for all companies, including small businesses. Other retail and retail-related trade groups, such as the National Restaurant Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) also backed the recent GOP-led proposals. The bill, which slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, doesn't include the controversial border adjustment tax that retailers fought hard against earlier this year. We will be watching closely if the bill will indeed help spur the economy. While retailers say the tax plan will cut taxes on middle-income consumers, thereby freeing up more money to spend at retail businesses, reports show that consumers are spending more on experiences than things, and there's no guarantee any tax savings would go toward retail purchases.