Tyler August: Time is now for tax reform

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

About one month ago residents of Wisconsin received great news: a major manufacturer selected our state to build its newest cutting-edge manufacturing campus. As you know, Foxconn is locating in southeastern Wisconsin and bringing with it up to 13,000 new good-paying jobs and billions in economic impact. In fact, the State Assembly just passed a bill that would cut government red tape to make it all happen. I voted for this package to ensure Wisconsin’s economic future remains strong with family-sustaining careers. Since elected in 2010, I’ve worked with Governor Scott Walker to enact multiple reforms that promote a simple but impactful message: “Wisconsin is Open for Business.” It is clear our message is resonating not only with the attraction of a major global manufacturer like Foxconn, but also through our state’s recent ascension to being a top ten state to do business in according to Chief Executive Magazine. This is up from Wisconsin being in the bottom ten in 2010.

However, enacting reforms at the state level is only part of the equation to improving our economy and quality of life. Next, Congress needs to act to reform our backwards and outdated tax code at the federal level.

The status quo is unacceptable. America’s tax code is now more than 30 years old and is holding our businesses, small and large, back from their full potential. The antiquated code imposes the highest tax rate on job creators in the developed world, hurting companies’ ability to compete in the global market place. Our tax laws should incentivize companies to invest American jobs and local communities. Instead they wrongly impose tax penalties on businesses who look to reinvest global profits right here at home, thereby driving business investments abroad.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and I am hopeful it won’t be for much longer. Under the leadership of Paul Ryan, Congress is working on a tax reform plan to fix our broken federal tax code to strengthen America’s middle class. By simplifying and lowering tax rates, Americans will be able to keep more of what they earn, and send less to Washington. American job creators will once again be able to compete globally and be able to reinvest right here in America. This will result in job and wage growth and a more stable economic future for all.

The time to act is now. Thankfully, with leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan at the helm, I am confident that the tax reform plan can get done and done correctly. I urge Congress to get to work and pass transformative reforms that give Americans the simpler, fairer, pro-growth tax code they deserve.

– August, R-Lake Geneva, represents the 32nd Assembly District and is the Assembly’s speaker pro tempore.

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