Congressman holds business round table in Cove
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Congressman Roger Williams (R-Austin) paid a visit to Copperas Cove on Tuesday afternoon, during which local business owners, along with elected officials and others in the community had the chance to hear what’s been happening in Washington and ask him questions directly.
Questions concerned small business loans, personal income tax changes, along with a request for help for CCISD from Joan Manning, CCISD board of trustees president. Manning reminded Williams about CCISD’s loss of Impact Aid that the district has had to deal with over the past several years.
“We’re about to use $12 million in impact aid that we have received for a long, long time. Last year was our last full payment of Impact Aid,” Manning said. However, the problem is that the district thought it would be receiving 90 percent of its last hold harmless payment. But that hasn’t happened.
“Dr. Burns has been calling the Department of Education and all he’s been getting is the runaround,” Manning told Williams, who promised to look into it.
Another resident talked about difficulty in getting small business loans to expand his business so he can hire more workers, and said that the Small Business Administration paperwork is “cumbersome.” Williams said that passing the Dodd-Frank Choice Act would help local banks be able to invest in local businesses.
One resident asked about changes that President Trump wanted to make to personal income tax and what’s happening with that.
Williams said one of the things he is pushing for is keeping it simple, to make personal income tax, 8, 10, 15 percent rates, but no more than 20 percent up to $1 million, and for those who make more than $1 million, 30 percent.
“Let’s you and I cash flow our country,” Williams said. “The government has to get serious about cutting expenses…The problem is, there’s no appetite to cut up there, on either side.”
W.B. Maples, owner of Cove Plumbing, is also a local rancher. He told Williams he’s had problems getting a workforce, on both fronts. For some of his workers, he goes through the H2A program to hire seasonal workers.
“To say the least, cumbersome is not even the beginning of it. It is costly and time consuming. My neighbor Donlie is having the same trouble,” said Maples. “When we can’t get workers here, we have to get foreign workers, and why can’t process be done for more than one.”
Williams admitted the immigration program is broken and while it all needs to be done to the letter of the law, regulations need to be changed so people like Maples can hire people and get his workforce.
He also talked about taking the focus off regulation loopholes, and that the government should cashflow America.
“We’re a consumer based society. We consume things. When we have money, we spend money,” Williams said.