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Franchisee, Economics Professor: 3 Problems with GOP Tax Bill

Jimmy John's Front Line
Jimmy John's front line stuffing sandwiches

Tim Wulf, a former economics professor who is a Jimmy John's franchisee and is a regular contributor of writings to trade and local publications, says that the new GOP tax bill lacks measures to boost labor productivity, which he says is the most important driver of US economic improvement. The tax bill measures hampering that productivity, he maintains, are the expensing of equipment, interest on debt, and the tax cut being offered to S-corps and partnerships.

A franchisee of multiple Jimmy John's sandwich shops, Wulf is part of a rapidly growing network of restaurants that prioritize super-fast delivery. For a Jimmy John's store to receive an order, prepare it using fresh ingredients, and then schlep it to your front door in a tight window of time, it needs both skilled employees and top-of-the-line equipment.

Under the new plan, Wulf doesn't expect to be able to meaningfully upgrade either of these areas — at least not in the long-term fashion befitting a growing business. And as someone who also serves as the Nevada chapter chair for the National Federation of Independent Business Leadership Council, it troubles him to see how tax reform has played out — not just for his operation but for small businesses as a whole. — Joe Ciolli, Business Insider

On the other hand, the bill does have its enthusiastic supporters:

“This bill addresses the needs of small business and will help restaurants remain strong economic engines and job creators,” Cicely Simpson, executive vice president for public affairs at the National Restaurant Association, said in a statement.

Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association called the act “the most significant piece of tax reform legislation in 30 years.”

“It will help spur job creation within the grocery manufacturing industry and provide tax relief for working families. The food, beverage and consumer products industry has long urged action to fix our broken tax system, which must work in favor of both consumers and manufacturers,” she said in a statement. — Bret Thorn, Nation's Restaurant News

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