Texas congressman promotes an accounting method that benefits his car dealerships

Rep. Roger Williams

Along Interstate 20 west of Fort Worth, it’s hard to ignore the signs for Rep. Roger Williams’ myriad car dealerships.

The Texas Republican, whose district stretches from downtown Austin to the southern Fort Worth suburbs, is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, due in part to his car dealing enterprise.

Williams is worth approximately $27 million, making him the 16th richest member of Congress, and his car dealerships and their associated real estate could be valued as high as $50 million, according to his financial disclosure.

While most members of Congress leave the private sector after winning elected office, Williams continues to own his dealerships and frequently mentions his experience as a small businessman as an asset in Washington.

“It’s so important to me that we get real tax reform, I’ll beat the drum anywhere,” Williams said in a recent interview.

One of Williams’ cornerstones of a tax overhaul involves keeping an accounting practice that helps out car dealers like himself – along with many other businesses, like oil companies and pharmaceuticals – and is promoted by the National Automobile Dealers Association, one of his largest campaign contributors.

Williams recently told the Charlotte Observer about a recent federal tax provision that he wants to protect called “Last In, First Out” Accounting. It’s a practice that helps car dealers like himself, but is also a tool that allows businesses to report their most recently acquired inventories as sold before older inventories. It allows businesses with reliably increasing inventory prices, like car dealerships, to save money on taxes by claiming the lower profits as a “LIFO Reserve.”


Read the full article from the Charlotte Observer: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article146017699.html