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CEO DATELINE – RILA: Companies should pay at least a base tax rate

Sept. 14, 2021
By Walt Williams

The Retail Industry Leaders Association has endorsed requiring companies to pay at least a base minimum in taxes—a move coming as the group tries to convince Democrats not to raise taxes on the corporate sector.

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In a Sept. 9 letter to Congressional leaders, the association noted that retailers do not benefit from the tax deductions and credits enjoyed by other business sectors. As a result, retailers pay one of the highest effective tax rates of any industry.

“Lawmakers should not place the burden of higher taxes onto retailers and their workers while many companies pay little to no taxes,” said Michael Hanson, RILA senior executive vice president, public affairs. “Allowing some companies to pay nothing while retailers pay full freight is simply unacceptable and pushes the tax code away from our shared goal of tax fairness.”

The endorsement represents a break from many other business groups, which either oppose requiring a minimum base tax rate or have remained silent on the issue. Still, RILA is aligned with many other associations in opposing the tax hikes that Democrats have proposed to help fund a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.

“If Democrats are serious about making sure everyone pays their fair share in taxes, a giant tax increase on industries already paying high rates while failing to address the uneven burdens in the current tax code, fails to meet that standard,” Hana Greenberg, vice president of tax, said in a separate Sept. 13 statement on a proposed House Democrat tax package. “This draft is non-starter for retailers.”