Opinion: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act helps Michigan build a bright future

Jimmy Greene
Greene writes: "The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made an unofficial contract with Americans - we trust you with our country’s future."

As president of Michigan’s Associated Builders and Contractors chapter, I’ve seen firsthand how these Tax Cuts are initiating a new era of growth for the people of Michigan. And a strong Michigan means a strong America.

This January, Fiat Chrysler announced plans to shift production of its Ram Heavy duty trucks from Mexico to Michigan. This investment, inspired by the tax cuts, will bring a  $1 billion investment to the Warren Truck Assembly auto plant—a move that is expected to create 2,500 jobs.

Small businesses are also thriving alongside the auto industry. According to a recent poll, small business owners support the recently passed tax cuts by a 10-1 margin. This matters because the contribution of small businesses to the American economy is huge, and growing by the day. Ninety-nine percent of U.S. firms are small businesses, and they are responsible for two-thirds of all new job creation.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) President and CEO, Michael D. Bellaman, called the tax cut’s passage a “historic day” for the construction industry.

The equipment needed to create everything from homes to skyscrapers requires high levels of capital, and the majority of construction companies are small contractors or family owned businesses. Doubling the estate tax has lifted the financial burden of passing down the family business from father to son, and simplified accounting has slashed the red tape holding back investments.

Some parties in Michigan have criticized the boon to small business owners and their employees as “giveaways for millionaires.” This claim has fallen on deaf ears and flush pockets.

The average family of four will see an additional $2,300 in take home pay for immediate expenses—such as groceries and school supplies, or even long term investments like a new home. While speaking in Michigan last month, Vice President Mike Pence pointed out that, “the American people did elect a builder to be President of the United States of America.”

Confidence in the economy has also been building. Small business owners with a positive economic outlook have almost doubled since the spring of 2016, and more small businesses plan to grow over the next five years than they did before the tax cut’s passage.

And according to a recent Forbes article, private sector job growth in the 10 most-populous low-tax states, which included Michigan, has been double their five high-tax peers.

The construction industry has been waiting to invest in their businesses and their communities and now is not the time to look back. Efforts to repeal the tax cuts need to be thwarted and thrown by the wayside.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made an unofficial contract with Americans - we trust you with our country’s future. Together, construction workers, auto workers, small business owners, and families across the country are already upholding their part. Hopefully the government upholds theirs.

Jimmy Greene is president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, Greater Michigan Chapter.