Lehigh Valley

Local pizzeria owner says tax cut would help business grow

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - After months of speculation and buildup, Republicans in the U.S. House finally released their tax proposal Thursday.

Some basic points:

  • Lower the corporate tax rate permanently to 20 percent.
  • Reduce income tax brackets from seven to four, at 12%, 25%, 35% and 39.6%.
  • Repeal the estate tax starting in 2024.
  • Create a one-time tax on overseas profits in an attempt to force companies to keep money in the U.S.  

These and other provisions, they say, would help individuals and businesses big and small. 

For reaction from a small business owner, WFMZ turned to Joe Ruffino, owner of Biaggio Pizzeria in Allentown. 

"Coming together on something like this would be phenomenal!" Ruffino said emphatically.   

He said a tax cut for businesses would help them grow, which would be good for everyone. 

"Having the revenue, and that little bit of freedom and extra money in your pocket? I'm a businessman," he said. "We're gonna put that money back into the communities."

He also said that he wastes time on complicated taxes instead of growing his business. 

"We have a meeting once a month, almost twice a month…with the accountant to keep everything in line because it's so complicated," he said. 

Republicans say that want to make taxes more streamlined, so most people can do them on a postcard. 

Plenty of critics are against the plan.

Many Democrats say it disproportionately benefits the wealthy and hurts the middle class.

Partisan disagreement is perhaps not a surprise, but some fiscal conservatives are against the plan too. 

They focus on America's $20 trillion debt, with increased spending out to the horizon.

That, to them, with a tax cut on top of it, is a recipe for disaster.

Ruffino worries too, and knows what would happen if he ran his business that way.

"I'd be closed," he said bluntly. "Imagine you're always on the negative side. Someday you gotta come to positive, right?"

Some Republicans claim growth from the plan would eventually reduce deficits.

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