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The National Grocers Association (NGA) is cheering Congress and the President for their last-minute avoidance of the fiscal cliff with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8). The bill, which NGA characterized as an overall “net positive” for its members, includes several important tax provisions that the Arlington, Va.-based trade group aggressively backed.
“I want to especially commend the hundreds of NGA members who heeded NGA’s call for grassroots action in December by contacting their senators and representatives,” noted the association's president, Peter Larkin.
“For the first time in years, family-owned retailers and wholesalers have certainty with the federal estate tax,” continued Larkin. “While the top rate was increased by 5 percent, the 2012 exemptions and provisions that NGA has advocated for were made permanent. In written testimony before the House Ways and Means and Small Businesses committees last year, NGA urged Congress to extend important pro-growth tax provisions such as Bonus Depreciation, Section 179 Expensing, Work Opportunity Tax Credit, charitable donations of food, and New Market Tax Credits. NGA commends Congress for including these provisions, which are proven catalysts for retailer and wholesalers to reinvest capital and hire workers. Reforms to Capital Gains and Dividends taxes and the one-year extension of the Farm Bill were also positive steps.”
Larkin conceded that Congress’ increase of taxes on businesses operating as pass-through entities by raising taxes on individuals making more than $400,000 ($450,000/couples) annually, as well as a 0.9 percent surtax imposed by the Affordable Care Act that took effect Jan. 1, were unwelcome barriers to NGA’s goal of comprehensive tax reform. He added that the association would continue its work for such reforms as parity among C corporations and pass-through entities.
“Looking forward, difficult issues lie ahead for the new Congress on the debt ceiling, the now-delayed sequestration, funding the government beyond March 27, comprehensive tax reform and a five-year Farm Bill,” said Larkin, pledging that NGA keep collaborating closely with Congress and the Obama administration to address these issues “while not inhibiting the ability of retailers and wholesalers to continue to grow their businesses and create jobs.”