Business Roundtable urges corporate tax reform

WASHINGTON: The Business Roundtable has launched the "Marching Toward Madness" campaign to urge lawmakers to take up business tax reform.

WASHINGTON: The Business Roundtable has launched the “Marching Toward Madness” campaign to urge lawmakers to take up business tax reform.

The US will have the highest corporate tax rate of all first-world countries as of April 1, when Japan lowers its statutory corporate tax rate, the organization says. The US tax rate could deter some companies from wanting to do business here, it contends.

The effort has both a short- and long-term strategy. In the near term, it will conduct meetings with members of Congress, outreach to media and editorial boards, and a multifaceted social media push, including videos. The organization is also placing ads in Washington publications. 

The Business Roundtable has teamed up with the Fratelli Group to create strategy and materials for the campaign.

“The goal is to keep up a steady drumbeat on the importance of a low tax rate and to ensure policymakers understand how important this is to companies to update an outdated system that puts Americans at a disadvantage,” said Tita Freeman, SVP of communications and public affairs at the Business Roundtable. Freeman joined the group March 2 after working at the National Retail Federation.

The organization is specifically pushing for both a lower, more competitive rate and a territorial tax system for foreign-earned income, similar to the rest of the world, Freeman said.

The Business Roundtable will also begin a long-term communications effort on April 2. It will transform its website so it looks like it did in 1986, the last time the US made a major reduction in its corporate tax rate.

Other long-term communications initiatives will include media and Capitol Hill outreach, as well as editorial board meetings and social media, said Eric Thomas, principal at the Fratelli Group. Although the long-term efforts won't focus on a specific date, he is optimistic they will result in action at some point.

“April 1 offered us a real sexy news hook, but it's really an ongoing issue, and certainly a top priority for Business Roundtable companies,” Thomas said.

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