U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, talks about his proposed tax policy at the Medina Economic Development Committee meeting Tuesday morning.
HALEE HEIRONIMUS / GAZETTE Enlarge
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, spoke Tuesday morning to the Medina Economic Development Committee about his proposals for tax reform.
Looking at areas he said haven’t changed for 35 years, Renacci said his ideas include eliminating the corporate income tax and replacing that revenue with a consumption tax.
“I’m a business guy that’s not afraid to go down to Washington and make changes,” Renacci said. “I took my business background and experience with a tax attorney to form a tax plan.”
Renacci is being challenged Nov. 8 for his 16th Congressional District seat, which includes most of Medina County, by Democrat Keith Mundy, of Parma.
Renacci is asking voters to elect him to a fourth two-year term. Mundy has never run for public office before.
In an email to the media, Mundy said the need for creating economic opportunity is an “overriding problem.”
Renacci said his proposed changes would make the U.S. more appealing to businesses in a global economy than other developed nations, which have lower taxes, and attempt to prevent businesses from leaving the U.S.
“We have to make sure the U.S. is competitive,” he said. To do so, “We have to develop a plan that cuts taxes and doesn’t hurt the national debt.”
Renacci told the Medina group he’s received feedback from multinational and utility companies that have been in favor of his tax reform proposal and others, such as retailers, who have expressed their concerns.
“There are always going to be people that have ‘slivers’ in the plan,” Renacci said. “I ask them to give me a 10-year projection that says how it will hurt them in 10 years.”
Renacci said he has not seen any negative analysis about his plan.
The Democratic candidate for the 16th Congressional District seat is Keith Mundy of Parma. He spoke Monday night at a candidates forum at Wadsworth Library.
ASHLEY FOX / GAZETTE Enlarge
In his email, Mundy said he wants “federal tax reform that increases benefits to employers of investing in more employees and more equipment.”
The federal government can create demand for products and services for Ohio, leading to more hiring, he said.
Mundy added he believes updates to infrastructure including roads and bridges and the use of electric automobiles will create a “bubble up” effect of economic benefits, including hiring to do the work.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Renacci said he hopes to sell his tax reform proposal to the newly elected president next year.
He highlighted what he called the positives of his plan:
- Making America the most competitive country in the world
- A gross domestic product growth of 5.6 percent per year
- Increasing jobs in the U.S. by 1.8 million in 10 years
- No negative effect on the debt or the federal budget deficit
Medina Economic Development Director Kimberly Marshall asked Renacci how citizens can help promote his plan.
Renacci said he encourages people to “model” the plan, discuss it with accountants and give him feedback.
“I challenge you to come up with a reason why it’s not the best plan and if you have that reason, I want to hear it,” Renacci said. “I’m not trying to convince people but I want them to prove me wrong by modeling the plan. You have to model the plan in order to expose problems.”
He added “This was a Jim Renacci idea built by talking with Democrats in Washington, tax attorneys and on the road talking with businesses and consumers.”
The congressman also addressed the tax policies proposed by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Renacci believes Trump’s proposed tax cuts will “destroy our economy, and increase debts and deficits.”
On the other hand, he said, Clinton is for raising corporate income taxes and creating an exit tax for companies who choose to base their operations outside the United States. Renacci said he believes Clinton’s idea will cause more companies to leave the U.S. and eventually stop businesses from coming to manufacture and sell products.
“Today, a consumption tax is the only way to go to grow the economy,” Renacci said. “This is where we have to be at some point in time.”