King tells politicians to keep it simple

Chadds Ford’s Rob King had a simple message for two federal lawmakers: “Simplify.”

King was talking with U.S. Reps. Pat Meehan, R-7, whose district includes Chadds Ford, and Jim Gerlach, R-6 whose district includes parts of Chester, Berks, Lehigh and Montgomery counties.

The two were questioning owners of small businesses to learn how they’ll be affected by an expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. On July 27, they took a tour of King’s business while discussing taxes and regulations.

King is the owner of Chadds Ford Tree Service. He employs, on average, six to seven fulltime employees, and two to three part timers.

Meehan said King is representative of those people who would be most hurt by having to pay higher taxes and for costly government regulations.

“Rob represents a lot of what America is all about, a small business of anywhere from 2 to 25 employees who wake up in the morning and try to figure out a way to perform a service and create a business. There’s a great example of an entrepreneur who sends people out to perform a service and I want to hear, from his perspective, the challenges he has. But he also represents the kind of a company, like so many out there, who are what we call pass-through entities,” Meehan said.

Meehan described pass-through entities as job creators who will be directly affected by the idea that “new taxes will flow through their businesses to them directly. And when you have new taxes on these job creators, it can have an impact — not just to do their business — but to hire more people. That’s one of the things that we’re fearful that will continue to hold back this economy.”

The first-term congressman said the smaller entrepreneurs wouldn’t have the money to invest in their businesses because they’re “going to pay the tax man.”

King told the two representatives that a tax hike would hurt.

“An increase in our taxes would significantly affect our ability to do business or grow our business,” King said.

He added that he wants to avoid laying people off and told the Meehan and Gerlach to, “Simplify. Simplify everything.”

King, a former township supervisor who started Chadds Ford Tree Service in 1979, later talked a little more about simplification.

“The tax code needs to be simplified. Obamacare needs to be simplified. The rules and regs need to be simplified.”

He said the ever-changing tax laws and growing number of regulations — federal and local — have him spending more time in the office than in the field being an arborist.

“I spend more time being an accountant than a tree-man,” he said.

King’s wife, Katharine, works in the office and, for her, taxes and regulations from all levels of government are adding to the frustration and the workload. She specifically cited local services and earned income taxes as adding to the burden.

“The employer must first research what is required, obtain forms, have employees fill out forms, submit forms to agencies, set up accounts, withhold taxes, file reports and payments, and then, at the end of the year, file a reconciliation tax. And, of course, there is the threat of fines or prison if the employer doesn't follow these regulations. This is time-consuming, and it’s in addition to the federal and state taxes we are obligated to withhold and file,” Katharine King said.

She added that municipalities are now requiring them to file additional certificates of insurance and pay of up to $150 just to be allowed to work a job. Katharine King added that the business can provide proof of insurance at no cost, but that municipalities want the money.

“It's another form of taxation,” she said, “and a cost of doing business. If we find out about it after the quote goes out, we lose money on the job. Very frustrating.”

Rob King hopes Meehan and Gerlach take with them the message of simplification and to accept that the owners of small businesses are “the heartbeat of America. We love what we do and we need more time to do what we do rather than deal with regulations.”

He is, however, appreciative that the congressman came to visit and hear what he had to say.

“It means a lot that they show an interest,” King said. “It wasn’t just a photo op, [at least] I hope not.”

Meehan and Gerlach had spent several days visiting a variety of small businesses in their respective districts, learning what those business owners are going through.

“We want to tell the story through the eyes of small–businessmen of what the impact will be if they have increased taxation, and a continuation of other types of burdens from the federal government on their ability to do, and create work that sustains jobs in their industries,” Meehan said.

In late July, the U.S. Senate voted to raise taxes on high income earners, but the House, a week later, voted to keep the Bush-era tax rates in place.

Photo caption: Chadds Ford’s Rob Kings makes a point to U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-6, of Delaware County. Looking on is U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, R-6. The crux of King’s message was that government should simplify rules and regulations instead of making it more complicated and time consuming to comply.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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One Response to “King tells politicians to keep it simple”

  1. Peter Jesson says:

    Congressman Meehan and his Chadds Ford supporters are guilty of cynical greed and stupidity. He and his cronies have steadily siphoned off the nation’s wealth to the top 1%.

    The whole problem with the economy is lack of demand – the middle and lower classes have no money to spend. Why? Romney and his fellow travelers have placed large chunks of it in off-shore bank accounts and the rest is being used to destabilize Wall Street and to buy elections.

    You can be sure when Republicans call something the “Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act”, it is another mechanism to channel more of the nations treasure to the wealthy freeloaders. Romney says he made his money through his own effort – just imagine how much he would have made if he had been born in the African jungle, or even if he had been born to a working class family in the USA. He is a man of no visible talent, described by a government official as devoid of charm, warmth, humour or sincerity, and a serial liar.

    Chadds Ford may be a cosy cradle of crony capitalism but even it will suffer (again) if and when the Republicans, once more, destroy the economy.

    Only the greedy and the ignorant could wish for Bush II

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