SMALL BUSINESS TAX RELIEF ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - February 16, 2007)
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Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 976, the Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2007. This bill creates immediate opportunities for small businesses around the country and in western Wisconsin. Small businesses are the engine of America's economy, representing more than 95 percent of all employers, creating half of our gross domestic product, and creating three out of four new jobs nationwide. If the United States is going to continue to have a strong economy, we must give small businesses every opportunity to succeed; H.R. 976 provides the right tax opportunities for positive growth for small businesses.
Additionally, I would like to thank Chairman RANGEL and Ranking Member MCCRERY for presenting a bipartisan bill to the Committee on Ways and Means and to the House of Representatives. With their combined leadership, I know my first term on the Committee on Ways and Means will be eventful and successful.
Since coming to Congress, I have consistently supported a range of proposals to help small firms, including giving help to small manufacturers through tax relief and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership; creating a new small business health care tax credit; and putting the government on a ``pay as you go'' basis to restrain deficit spending that raises interest rates and restricts small firms' access to capital.
H.R. 976 follows this tradition by providing $1.3 billion in tax cuts targeted to small business over the next 10 years. This cost, however, is entirely offset by provisions that pay for it. The bill's tax cuts include a one-year extension for deductions on small business expenses, and it increases the amount of such expenses these businesses could deduct. It also extends for one year the tax credit for employers who hire certain disadvantaged workers, and ensures that an increase in the minimum wage would not reduce the current ``tip credit'' for restaurant employers. Most importantly, this bill accomplishes these savings for small businesses within the framework of pay-as-you-go rules.
Most significantly, H.R. 976 includes a provision to help simplify taxes for family farmers. Right now, if a farm owned by a married couple files as a sole proprietorship (instead of a partnership), only one spouse receives credit for paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. This bill allows both spouses to receive credit for the Social Security and Medicare taxes they pay while under a sole proprietorship. Filing for a partnership can be a costly and time consuming process, and this bill allows both spouses the security that comes with Social Security and Medicare benefits, without the extra burden.
Specifically, I know this provision will greatly benefit family farmers in western Wisconsin and around the country. This simplification will allow both spouses running a farm to receive credit for the taxes they pay, and ensures that in the event of a tragedy, or simply in old age, both of them are taken care of.
Small business is critical to economic strength, building America's future, and helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. I urge my colleagues to vote for this common sense bill so we can support our most important economic driver, the small business.
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