NRF sends Sears exec to Washington

WASHINGTON — Sears Holdings VP tax James Misplon testified on behalf of the National Retail Federation, urging Congress to focus on jobs and the economy as lawmakers explore options for corporate tax reform.

Misplon testified before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning during a hearing on how corporate tax reform can encourage job creation. Sears Holdings is an NRF member and Misplon chairs the NRF Taxation Committee.

“Sears Holdings and other members of NRF believe that the most important aspect of any tax reform measure is its impact on the economy and jobs,” Misplon said. “It is vitally important that any tax reform measure do no harm to our economy.”

Misplon added that the NRF supports the elimination of special deductions and credits in exchange for lower rates. 

According to NRF, retail pays the highest effective federal tax rate of any sector of the economy and is likely to see a lower effective tax rate under tax reform. Under the highly competitive nature of the retail industry, NRF said it believes most of that reduction would be passed on to consumers through lower prices. That would enable retailers to increase sales volume, which would create the need for more employees in stores and distribution centers. In addition, retailers would purchase more inventory, increasing investment and jobs throughout the supply chain.

Misplon urged the committee to reject proposals such as a Value Added Tax or other forms of consumption tax.

“One of the most harmful things that could be done to our economy at this time would be to place a direct federal tax on consumption,” he said. “Most Americans alive today would be worse off under a VAT.”