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Public Statements

Issue Position: Small Business

Issue Position

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Small Businesses are powerful forces in our economy. They represent over 99 percent of all employers in America. In fact, small businesses create 80% of all new jobs.

Relieving the heavy tax and paperwork burden put on the shoulders of America's small businesses is a top priority of mine.

In 2003, Congress enacted meaningful tax relief that would greatly benefit small businesses and help to ease the burdensome taxes places on them. This legislation increases the amount that small businesses can expense, or immediately deduct, from $25,000 to $100,000. It also increases the definition of a small business from $200,000 of capital purchases to $400,000.

Small businesses benefit greatly under these new provisions because the amount they can now write off has been tripled. This is real tax savings that small business owners can use to invest in their company, buy new equipment, hire additional workers, and increase pay.

I can't think of no better policy than to maintain the tax relief Republicans passed and have pushed for since they were first enacted. Many are set to expire in 2010. One I strongly support is dividend and capital gains tax relief. Double taxation of dividends is unfair. When a business takes its profits, which are taxed, and distributes them to a shareholder, and that person then has to pay taxes on it - that is unfair. Getting rid of the double taxation of dividends will make it easier for capital to accumulate, make it more likely people will find work. The double taxation of dividends also hurts senior citizens. Ten million seniors rely upon dividend income during their retirement years.

High capital gains taxes discourage investment and hamper economic growth. The key to long-term economic growth is investment. Not only are taxpayers penalized for saving and taking the risk that investment represents, but also they are discouraged from moving assets from current investments to other, more promising options. This is one reason that so many start-up companies -- companies that will be producing the high-paying jobs of the future -- have such a hard time finding capital.

Then there is also the Death Tax. It is one of the primary reasons why family-owned small businesses and farms do not survive from one generation to the next. The tax relief passed by Congress in 2001 gradually phases out the death tax by 2010. However, unless Congress acts to extend this important tax relief, the death tax will return in full force in 2011.

Another area of concern for small businesses is health care. Small business owners are finding it increasingly difficult to provide quality employee health care coverage to their workers because of the rising health insurance costs in this country.

I have been an advocate for the Small Business Health Fairness Act, which could help reduce a small business' health care costs by as much at 30 percent. This legislation would allow small businesses to join together, creating association health plans, to purchase health insurance for their workers at a lower cost. These association health plans would give small businesses increased bargaining power to negotiate with health insurance providers.

I am committed to ensuring that all of the small businesses in this country, and especially those in the 40th district, are encouraged to grow.


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