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While on holiday in England during July, my thoughts for this page were on the proposed changes to our tax law, and how they would adversely affect America's industry. But with the President undergoing cancer surgery, Congress deadlocked on deficit reduction and the budget on the back burner, nothing new was being said or done regarding a new tax law
I recently attended a briefing, arranged by the White House, regarding the Treasury's tax simplification plan. A Treasury Undersecretary explained that their goal was to come up with a tax code that was "fair" to everyone.
As I thought about what we might expect for 1986, the most important news affecting our industry is the tax revision bill just finished by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Now that the new tax bill has been passed, the time has come to begin evaluating how it will affect investment strategies in the machine tool business. Your first reaction may be to think that any motivation to invest in capital improvements in your company is gone, because both the investment tax credit and the accelerated depreciation on capital investment have been removed from the tax law. After all, if Uncle Sam is not going to help us out through some short term tax gains, why should we bother? Can we afford to bother?
Taxes may be one of the only two sure things in life, but that doesn't make them popular. Nobody is happy to pay them, and the bigger the amount due, the unhappier the taxpayer. Conversely, politicians know that coming out in favor of a tax cut is the equivalent of voting for apple pie and motherhood. It's a sure-fire success at the ballot box.
Of timing is crucial in the successful implementation of good ideas, then now is the time to reinstate a good idea that fell into disfavor in the mid-1980s. Now is the time to include the investment tax credit as part of whatever inevitable tax structure tinkering is going to take place during this election year.