Padgett President Speaks Before Panel
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Padgett President Speaks Before Panel

Athens, GA) For nearly 40 years, Athens-based Padgett Business Services has acted as an advocate and voice for the small business community. That voice reached a large audience recently as Roger Harris, president and chief operating officer of Padgett, provided input to President Bush’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform.

President Bush established the Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform on Jan. 7, 2005, to seek options on reforming the tax code to make it simpler, fairer, and more pro-growth to benefit all Americans. The panel, chaired by former U.S. Senators Connie Mack and John Breaux, will submit to the Secretary of the Treasury a report, no later than July 31, 2005, containing revenue neutral policy options for reforming the Federal Internal Revenue Code.

This week’s panel was centered on the corporate income tax and the impact of taxes on small businesses and entrepreneurs. Harris was invited to share his expertise on the small business community, gained from his interaction with the over 400 Padgett offices in North America, which service over 100,000 customers in the United States and Canada.

“My goal with this testimony is to provide the panel with a glimpse into the myriad of decisions that small business owners must face before they even open their doors,” Harris explains. “Unfortunately, the complexity of those choices and the fear of penalty for making the wrong choices can have the unintended effect of stifling growth and preventing people from achieving their dream of owning their own business.”

Also featured on the small business panel with Harris were Todd Fleming, chief executive officer of Infrasafe, Inc.; David Hurley, owner and principal of Landmark Engineering and Surveying Corporation; and Donald J. Bruce, a business and economics professor at the University of Tennessee. Others who have testified in front of this committee in recent weeks have included Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Mark Everson, commissioner of the IRS; and James A. Baker, III, former U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury.

“I have always heard that starting and operating your own business means doing the one thing you love and 99 that you hate,” adds Harris. “If this panel can help the President alleviate some of those 99 burdens, maybe more people will venture into starting their own businesses and ensure that our economy continues to grow.”

Harris’ appearance before the commission continues Padgett’s efforts to act as an advocate of small business before the federal government. In recent years, he has provided testimony several times on IRS reform and other issues to the Senate Small Business Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Harris also served four years on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), including two years as its chairman. The purpose of the IRSAC is to provide an organized public forum for discussion of relevant tax administration issues between IRS officials and representatives of the public.

Padgett’s work in Washington on behalf of small businesses also includes the Padgett Foundation. Founded in 1998, the purpose of the Padgett Foundation is to act as an advocate for small business in the areas of education, research and policy.

Transcripts of Harris’ testimony, as well as the presentations submitted by Harris and the other experts, can be found at www.taxreformpanel.gov.

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