The National Restaurant Association and International Franchise Association announced Tuesday that they have joined a new group called the Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates. The group's objective is to advocate for tax reform through fair "effective tax rates," or the amount of tax that businesses actually pay.

In addition to the nearly 500,000 restaurant locations represented by the NRA, the Coalition's members include nearly 500,000 additional businesses — including small business owners paying individual tax rates as well as large corporations paying corporate rates. The IFA is an inaugural member of the steering committee of the coalition.

"In order to spur job creation and economic growth throughout the economy and the restaurant industry, there needs to be a focus on an equal treatment of businesses under the tax code," said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of Policy and Government Affairs for the NRA. "By eliminating tax preferences, lawmakers would have the opportunity to lower corporate and individual tax rates and promote more robust economic growth."

Coalition members plan to encourage Administration officials and members of Congress to use effective tax rates as a leading metric as tax reform develops on Capitol Hill. The Coalition says it hopes "effective-tax-rate comparisons will bolster legislation that broadens the tax base while lowering rates for corporations as well as pass-through businesses."

The Coalition does not plan to take positions on specific tax provisions, but will concentrate on the benefits of viewing tax reform through the lens of effective tax rates.

IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira said, "The franchise industry strongly believes that both the individual and corporate sides of the code must be reformed at the same time, given that we represent both individual and corporate tax filers, and both large and small businesses across many sectors such as restaurants, hotels and a variety of service-related businesses that account for one out of every eight private sector jobs in America.

"This approach will ensure that all businesses, including pass-thru entities and corporations, receive the much-needed tax simplification and rate reduction tax reform should provide ... We are committed to working with Congress to address these inequalities within the tax code so that we can ensure franchise businesses have the opportunity to maximize their vast potential (and proven ability) to create jobs."

The National Federation of Independent Business and the Retail Industry Leaders Association co-chair the Coalition.

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