The Business Roundtable on Tuesday will launch a two-week long lobbying and media blitz to raise the profile of corporate tax reform. The campaign comes ahead of April 1, the date Japan lowers its business tax rate and the United States officially becomes the country with the highest rate in the developed world.
The inside-the-Beltway campaign will feature shoe-leather lobbying, earned media, a series of online videos and print advertisements. During the April recess, the organization will press its case in district meetings with lawmakers.
"I want the political leaders to understand what the business leaders already know, that having the highest tax rate in the world is not the way to have the most competitive economy in the world," BRT president John Engler told the Alley.
Engler, a former Michigan governor, said state officials have long been busy "knocking each other out" trying to attract business to their states and BRT is working to tell Washington "that today this competition is going on among nations."
The BRT is pushing Congress to modernize and simplify the tax code by lowering the corporate tax rate and creating a competitive international tax system.
The campaign is the first step in a six-figure effort that will run through the end of the year when Congress will have to make decisions on how to deal with trillions of dollars in tax provisions. It also aims to set the groundwork for a larger debate over tax reform that many expect next year.
"We want to be on the forefront because this is a critical issue for the United States," said BRT public policy vice president Matt Miller. "One of the things to drive economic growth is a competitive tax system. And BRT's going to work ... with both sides of the aisle to see the completion of competitive business tax reform."