Fairness sought on effective tax rates — how much money businesses actually pay to U.S.

By Kent Hoover, American City Business Journals

Here’s a tax reform idea: Have all businesses pay close to the same percentage of their income in taxes, regardless of whether they’re a huge multinational corporation or a corner gas station.

That’s the principle the Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates wants Congress to follow as it overhauls the U.S tax code. So far, 57 national organizations representing 500,000 businesses have joined this coalition.

Fairness when it comes to effective tax rates — the percentage of income that businesses end up paying to the government, after taking various tax breaks — should be the metric Congress uses in making choices about tax reform, members contend. Under current law, big businesses that earn much of their income abroad and utilize the host of tax breaks available to corporate America often pay much less than the statutory corporate tax rate of 35 percent.