Embracing Business Tax Transparency. Below is a recent op ed article Kevin Hancock wrote for the Press Herald newspaper.
Casco, ME – I recently overheard someone asking how much money “the government was sending” their company as a result of corporate tax reform. That quick encounter followed weeks of watching politicized reporting on the subject using nebulous terms such as “greed” and “fair share”.
“Why isn’t anyone just showing the real math?” I wondered to myself. It’s not confusing and there is nothing to hide or conceal. Our own company, Hancock Lumber, was going to pay millions of dollars in taxes before and after reform. The rhetoric and lack of data concerned me.
With this in mind, we decided that transparency was important. We wanted everyone at Hancock Lumber to have real data on corporate tax reform and some perspective on how it would impact their company. What follows is a summary of that communication. Our company is a C-corporation so that is the basis for our examples.
I don’t know when tax policy morphed into a debate about who “cares” more about the world around them. Everyone cares about others. That’s what it means to be human. I personally think government (in normal times) should not set tax rates based on what it would like to spend, but rather on what is reasonable to collect. I also think humanity is irresistibly progressing toward smaller, central bureaucracies as more and more people actualize the power to lead that lives within us all. Thoughtfully shrinking the center of organizations (companies and governments alike) actually deepens human engagement, accelerates creative diversity, and expands opportunities for personal growth. But, this represents a big change in thinking for governments that have always only aspired to grow bigger and expand their influence.
Businesses are not selfish for believing in their social value. I watched a bit of Scrooge over the holidays and wondered if that 19th century curmudgeonly portrait of free enterprise still held any sway in the public eye. Corporate America is not some abstract entity, nor is it Wall Street or the Netflix series Billions. It’s Maine Street; it’s actual people you know and companies you engage regularly. Money retained and reinvested locally is good and a 28% cumulative corporate tax rate is a big number (still above the global average). Government is important, but so too is free enterprise. Everyone cares about the world around them.Tags: Business Insight, Business Tax Transparency, Hancock Lumber, Kevin Hancock, Maine Business, Tax Reform
Categorised in: Kevin Hancock
This post was written by Erin Plummer