As a small business owner in the great state of Texas, I know firsthand the challenges we face in keeping our enterprises up and running. My family started Kreidler Funeral Home, Inc. in 1912, only the second “undertaker” here in the Rio Grande Valley at the time. For more than a century, our family has helped mourners during their darkest days.
Small businesses are more than mere economic entities; they are symbols of resilience, innovation, and the human spirit. Our business is to celebrate life and help families and friends reflect and appreciate the lives of their loved ones. Our business is deeply tied to the wellbeing of our community.
Running a small business in today’s competitive landscape has its challenges. From navigating the patchwork of local regulations to battling historic inflation, all with a recession on the horizon, there is enormous uncertainty for today’s job creators.
But in life and business, there are two certainties. As the old adage goes, death and taxes. The most significant challenge that haunts our business is property taxes. In particular, the inventory tax. As one of only nine states that taxes a business’ inventory – that’s everything related to a business operation whether that ‘thing’ turns a profit or not – this tax is an undertaker of Texas small businesses.
Heck, we’re paying taxes on the pews that have been in our chapel since 1961. Think of what sixty-two years’ worth of tax money could go toward.
If that doesn’t sound like a grave affair, I don’t know what does. The inventory tax undermines our ability to invest in our business, stifling growth and making it harder for us to stay competitive with bigger businesses in our industry.
Just as a funeral brings closure for a family in mourning, tax relief can breathe new life into struggling small businesses. This shouldn’t be too difficult, given that our state is awash in cash. With an almost $33 billion surplus, surely, lawmakers in Austin can find room in the budget to bury this punitive tax.
With the Texas legislative session coming to a close, it is imperative for lawmakers to quit the bickering and heed our calls and pass meaningful tax relief. Given the economic uncertainty we face – from the worker shortage, supply chain disruptions, and looming recession – on top of massive price increases, it’s a slap in the face to job creators when another session goes by with zero business tax relief.
Homestead exemptions are to be applauded but, the Legislature must bury the inventory tax now.
Without the inventory tax, we can redirect those funds towards hiring new employees, raising wages, and expanding our operations. This not only benefits business owners, but our employees and the communities we serve.
It’s time for the Texas Legislature to breathe life back into our struggling enterprises. Let’s bury the inventory tax once and for all.
Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by John Kreidler, owner of Kreidler Funeral Home, Inc. in McAllen, Texas. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Kreidler, pictured above, can be reached by email via: [email protected].
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