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Congressman Cole Votes to Level the Playing Field For Oklahoma Businesses

June 17, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted today for The American Jobs Creation Act of 2003, H.R. 4520. The bill will enhance the competitiveness of U.S.-based companies, particularly those engaged in exporting and manufacturing. This legislation, which passed in the House today by a vote of 251-178, is vital to continued economic growth in Oklahoma and across the United States.

"Manufacturers and farmers are being hit with escalating tariffs abroad and a discriminatory tax system at home that are increasing the price of U.S. goods sold overseas. This reduces our exports. Fewer exports mean fewer U.S. jobs," Congressman Cole said.

In a study cited by the Americans for Tax Reform, an independent analysis by multiple investment forms found that this bill will have an economic impact of  $1.467 billion in Oklahoma.

American companies and workers are at a competitive disadvantage, both domestically and in global markets. The reason is the higher domestic tax rates they face compared with our foreign competitors. This bill will help relieve some of the burdens American companies are facing abroad. It also will help American businesses retain more of their earnings for reinvestment and job creation here in the U.S.

"This legislation is critical to Oklahoma's future. Without it, Oklahoma exports of agricultural and manufactured products will not have an equal playing field in world markets," Congressman Tom Cole said. "H.R. 4520 will have a real impact on jobs and growth in Oklahoma."

H.R. 4520 contains two provisions that extend the life until 2005 of the two Native American related tax provisions that benefit ALL Oklahomans. One provision allows businesses located on former Indian land to depreciate real assets approximately 40 percent faster than usually allowed. The other provision provides incentives for employers to hire Native Americans. Both provisions bring millions of dollars in business to Oklahoma each year.

This legislation will repeal the government tobacco support system and transition to a market-based system.

"Although I have concerns over the price tag of the tobacco buyout, the federal government will now stop paying tobacco subsidies. Tobacco farmers will have now have to compete in the open market," Congressman Cole said.

Over 390 major companies and organizations support this bill. The American Farm Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Americans for Tax Reform, American Bankers Association, American Petroleum Institute, General Motors, National Council of Chain Restaurants and the National Association of Manufacturers support The American Jobs Creation Act of 2003.

The bill provides tax relief to businesses of all sizes:

  • Reduces the top tax rate for U.S. producers and manufacturers from 35 to 32 percent;
  • Provides $4 billion of relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)—what the National Association of Manufacturers calls the “Anti-Manufacturing Tax;”
  • Enhances the ability for small businesses to invest in new equipment and grow their businesses through expanded expensing provisions;
  • Temporarily reduces tax rate on repatriated income (to 5.25 percent for one year) if the income is permanently reinvested in the United States;
  • Provides $13 billion in transitional tax relief to manufacturing and production in the United States over the next three years.

H.R. 4520 helps rural areas by making the Highway Trust Fund whole. By compensating the Highway Trust Fund for the cost of ethanol subsidies, this bill will automatically bring more money into the Highway Trust Fund and automatically boost highway spending for many farm states, which produce the most gasohol.

It also will help rural areas by:

  • ending double and triple taxes farmer cooperative income;
  • giving drought-stricken livestock producers additional time to reinvest;
  • providing relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for farmers; and
  • extending enhanced Section 179 expensing, which is tax relief specifically targeted for small businesses, such as farms.