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Treasury Secretary Mnuchin talks tax reform in Parkersburg


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va.  — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took Sen. Shelley Moore Capito up on her invitation to visit the Bureau of the Fiscal Service here Monday and also spoke with local businesspeople about the upcoming push for tax reform.

From left, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., takes a seat with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a photo opportunity Monday at the Bureau of the Fiscal Service on Third Street in Parkersburg. Also pictured are Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., Bureau of the Fiscal Services Commissioner Sheryl Morrow and David A. Lebryk, the Treasury Department’s fiscal assistant secretary.
(Parkersburg News and Sentinel photo by Art Smith)

“On the personal (income) side, the objective is to shrink the number of brackets, simplify taxes,” Mnuchin said after a private, roundtable meeting at the Parkersburg Brewing Co. on Market Street. “Ninety-five percent of Americans will be able to do their taxes on a large postcard and make business tax competitive. We have one of the highest (business tax) rates in the world.”

Mnuchin said President Donald Trump will unveil the tax reform plan during a speech in Missouri Wednesday.


Capito, R-W.Va., chaired a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in July to review the administration’s budget request for the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. During the hearing, she invited Mnuchin to Parkersburg.

Mnuchin, Capito and Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., met with Bureau of the Fiscal Service officials, including Commissioner Sheryl Morrow, around 9 a.m. in a ground-floor conference room at the bureau’s Third Street location. Then, the secretary toured the data center.

“We have over 2,000 employees here, and we have very, very important functions of the government that are done here,” Mnuchin said.

Although the events were not open to the public and not publicly announced, seven people gathered in front of the Fiscal Service office, holding signs protesting tax cuts for the wealthy and money for a proposed border wall, among other topics.


During the July hearing, Capito praised the use of a shared services model at the bureau, saying it promotes government efficiency. On Monday, Mnuchin said expansions of that strategy are being explored.

“What Fiscal Service does is we manage virtually all of the payments and receipts for the government. We do 85 percent of the disbursements and 100 percent of the collections,” Mnuchin said.

“So now what we’re doing is we’re going into also a shared service model where we provide IT, HR, travel, financial accounting services to other agencies. We’re doing it for Treasury, we’re doing it for HUD (Housing and Urban Development), and we’re going to be looking for synergies across government to save taxpayer money and expanding that program, and that’ll be more jobs here in West Virginia,” he said.

After touring the Fiscal Service facility, Mnuchin, Capito and McKinley headed up to the Parkersburg Brewing Company, where co-owner Dan Curtis said he’d reached out to Capito’s office and offered to play host to the secretary. The last time Capito was in town, she visited the brewing company and other downtown businesses to highlight the need for expanded broadband Internet access

Along with Curtis, the discussion was joined by Lindsey Anderson, senior vice president at United Bank; Tim Matheny, president and owner of Matheny Motors; Brian Standley, chief operating officer of Wincore Windows; and Judy Sheppard, CEO of Professional Services of America.

Curtis said the discussion did not include many specifics of the administration’s plan.

“It was more trying to get input from us on how tax reform would help us,”he said.

“Tax reform and the economic engine of growth in this country is not about big business; it’s about small, medium-sized businesses,” Mnuchin said after the meeting.

McKinley said he believes the Trump administration has already done positive things for West Virginia and he hopes to see it continue with a reduction in regulations through the proposed tax reform efforts.

“We’re seeing some of the regulations come down, and as a result, West Virginia’s rebounding,” he said. “In the first quarter of this year, West Virginia had the second-fastest growing GDP (gross domestic product) in the country. Now we’ve got to continue that; can’t just be a blip on the screen.”

Capito said she believes tax reform is needed and would lead to increased wages for employees.

“We heard today: What would you do if you had tax reform, in asking small businesses. Increase wages, purchase more equipment, expand business, and that means more jobs,” she said.

Matheny said his business and Wincore each employ more than 300 people.

“We’d love to have 400-plus employees, but we need a little help to get there,” he said.

Sheppard said she felt the officials at Monday’s meeting really paid attention to what the local folks were saying.

“I believe they will take that back,” she said. “They understand our issues, and they’re certainly on top of those issues.”

After the morning events, Capito toured Kreinik Manufacturing on Gihon Road in Parkersburg.

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