Newspaper article Roll Call

Helping Restaurants Serve Up Jobs | Commentary

Newspaper article Roll Call

Helping Restaurants Serve Up Jobs | Commentary

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Helping Restaurants Serve Up Jobs | Commentary

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* By Rep. Mike Kelly

* May 19, 2015, 12:27 p.m.

When it comes to the universality of food, the late Luciano Pavarotti perhaps put it best: "One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating."

In other words, everybody - no matter who they are, or where they are from, or what they believe - eats. It's the ultimate "common ground."

In America, 130 million people do their eating at a million different restaurant locations every single day, which, of course, translates into an awful lot of business, entrepreneurship and employment.

The Restaurant and Retail Jobs and Growth Act (HR 765), which I've introduced over the past two Congresses with bipartisan support, recognizes the inherent economic horsepower behind these enterprises and makes it easier for them to expand and create more job opportunities for more Americans.

According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry already employees 14 million people nationwide - 10 percent of our nation's entire workforce. This includes more than 557,000 men and women in my home state of Pennsylvania and 21,000 people in the district I'm honored to represent.

These are enormous figures, with enormous potential to grow even larger. Public policy makers should be staunchly on food service's side. Unfortunately, our nation's notoriously outdated tax code is not.

Under the current code, restaurants are forced to operate on a 39- year tax depreciation schedule, which means write-offs for the costs of critical improvements to their establishments have to reflect expected wear and tear accumulated over nearly two generations. In an industry where wear and tear occurs quickly and constantly, this is absurd. …

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