Twenty-one CEOs of some of the country’s biggest companies had a message Monday for members of Congress. They want comprehensive tax reform, and that’s no April Fools’ joke.
In a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, the executives noted the United States’ 35 percent top statutory rate for corporate taxes puts it at the top of the industrialized world “as the country with the highest statutory corporate rate.”
“Coupled with our complicated tax system, this rate makes American businesses less competitive and makes the U.S. a less attractive place for investment, ultimately harming businesses, investors, workers and consumers,” the letter sent by the Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably coalition said.
Among those who signed the letter were Martin J. Barrington of the Altria Group Inc.; AT&T’s Randall Stephenson; Jim McNerney of the Boeing Co.; CVS Caremark Corp.’s Larry Merlo; Frederick Smith of FedEx Corp.; Joseph Hinrichs of Ford Motor Co.; and Robert Iger of the Walt Disney Co.
“As members of the RATE Coalition, representing 30 companies and organizations with more than 30 million U.S. employees, we stand ready to support your efforts to make the U.S. more competitive,” the CEOs added in the letter. “We know that some choices may be difficult and understand that base-broadeners, such as eliminating tax expenditures, may be necessary to achieve the significant reduction in the statutory rate that is required for the U.S. to better compete globally.”
In a statement announcing the letter, James Pinkerton, co-chairman of the RATE Coalition, said that April 1 marks the first anniversary of Japan’s decision to lower its corporate tax, giving America “the dubious distinction of having the world’s highest corporate tax rate.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.