Sunday, October 07, 2001

Bush tax bill divides executives

By John Eckberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Executives polled by Andersen for the Greater Cincinnati 100 list of top privately held companies were split about the impact of the Bush tax bill on the economy.

        However, backers of the Bush measure — in which taxpayers received $40 billion back — held a slight majority.

        “I think it will have a positive impact on the economy,” Ronald A. Koetters, chairman and chief executive of Monarch Construction, said.

        “This crisis didn't help the situation much, but I think (the tax cut) will put money in hands of consumers.”

        A survey of 100 top executives found that 48 percent thought that the Bush tax cut will expand the economy, while 42 percent said it would have no impact. Another 10 percent did not respond to the question.

        While the executives who thought a tax cut would bring a boost to the economy held an edge over those who believed it would have no impact, that is not the case if the 10 percent who did not vote are factored into the equation.

        The survey could mean that 52 percent of the executives surveyed were apathetic or discounted the economic punch of the measure.

        “The tax cut might have some impact, but I don't know that the impact will be significant enough to be noticeable,” said Steve Bitzer, president of Deerfield Construction Co.

        The economy was already in a recession when terrorists struck New York and Washington, D.C., he said.

        “That just made it worse,” Mr. Bitzer said.

        But any economic slowdown is not going to last for long, he predicted.

        “I feel like with the activity we are seeing in the bid process, I don't think the economic downturn is going to last much past the second quarter next year.”


Private companies post powerful numbers
- Bush tax bill divides executives
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List of Greater Cincinnati 100
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Champion keeps seeing windows of opportunity
Joseph Auto pulls into lead spot
Urge to build wanes since solid year in 2000