Beall’s Opposes Border Adjustment Tax
Stephen M. Knopik
May 26, 2017
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune
For more than 100 years Beall’s has thrived by serving our customers in an ever-changing and hyper-competitive retail environment. To be sure, we’ve benefited from the economic vitality of Florida and the United States, but we’ve also successfully managed through periods of recession and anemic growth.
We oppose the so-called Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) component of the tax reform package that is being considered by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
Even if the reform measure results in a reduction in tax rates, the BAT would trigger a dramatic cost increase for retailers like Beall’s. Should the BAT become law, prices would go up materially for consumers and, in some cases, stores would be shuttered and jobs lost.
Retailers employ more than 2.6 million Floridians. Nationwide, consumer spending accounts for approximately 60 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and our industry provides approximately one in four jobs. That’s 42 million employed Americans who are helping drive the economy.
Compared with almost any other industry, retail companies benefit from very few significant tax breaks and most pay very high effective tax rates, so it seems terribly unfair to impose a punitive tax like the BAT on us.
If the objective of tax reform is to revitalize the economy, the BAT would likely have the opposite effect. Worse yet, Americans who will bear the biggest brunt of the BAT would be the lower- and middle-class consumers who shop in stores like ours or work in them.
Stephen M. Knopik, Bradenton, Chairman and CEO, Beall’s Inc.