Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) yesterday welcomed the Washington fly-in of the Committee on Private Company-Policy of Financial Executives International (FEI), a membership association representing 15,000 CFOs and other senior financial executives. The group, comprised of financial executives of family-owned and privately-held businesses, met with Members of Congress and staff to discuss the need for comprehensive tax reform and how privately-held and family-owned businesses are affected by the current tax code. Like many small businesses, these businesses file under the individual income tax bracket -- and thus are affected by changes in the tax code for individuals.
The group included the chief financial officers from two Chicago-area businesses, Mark Smetana of Eby-Brown, and Michael Kenny of Panduit. Congressman Roskam is the co-chair of the Privately-Held and Family-Owned Business Caucus and a member of the Ways & Means Committee.
"Listening to the challenges privately-held businesses face helps to demonstrate how our current tax system creates economic barriers for businesses to grow, innovate, and create jobs," said Congressman Peter Roskam. "I want to thank these leaders for coming to Congress and delivering an important message, that a tax increase on individuals is actually a tax increase on employers like these. It's critical to hear from the people who know best what raising taxes or conversely comprehensive tax reform would mean for their ability to create jobs."
"Any movement to increase tax rates on individuals will in effect hit all the small, family, and privately-held businesses," explained Eby-Brown Co.'s Mark Smetana. "The result for all of us would be that we would have less cash to spend to maintain and grow our business. It could have a very devastating impact relative to economic growth and opportunity. Instead, we need a tax code that is more competitive with other countries and competing markets."
"As a businessperson, it is important that those making decisions in Washington understand the impact of tax increases on a company's ability to grow and hire," said Michael Kenny of Panduit. "Many of us pay our business taxes through the individual tax system; therefore any increase would directly impact our ability to do business. It is vital to job creation and economic growth that decisions are made to foster an environment for private and family-owned businesses to flourish."