Small Businesses Supported Buffett Rule; Failure Disappointing

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Original statement issued April 16, 2012:

It was disappointing to see the Paying a Fair Share Act, or the “Buffett Rule,” fail to pass the Senate today. According to national opinion polling, small business owners believe they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to taxes and agree individuals earning more than $1 million should be taxed at a higher rate. The Buffett Rule was in line with their views and could have been an important first step in much-needed comprehensive tax reform.

Some claim raising taxes on the top 1 percent of Americans would hurt small businesses. However, 57 percent of small business owners agree those earning more than $1 million should pay a higher tax rate, and only one small business owner out of 500 polled reported their annual household income to be more than $1 million.

We wish more small business owners were millionaires, but unfortunately it’s just not the case. We hope policymakers continue pushing for comprehensive tax reform and listen to small business owners while they’re crafting legislation.

Don’t Forget About the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Originally featured in The Huffington Post:

With tax day rapidly approaching, small business owners still have a chance to cash in on a health care reform provision reserved just for them: health care tax credits. The Affordable Care Act was designed to address one of small business owners’ most serious problems — a lack of access to affordable coverage. Since its enactment, employers across the country have been able to claim the credit and reinvest in their business. Nan Warshaw, owner of Bloodshoot Records in Chicago, Illinois, is one of them.

Nan was able to save nearly $6,000 with the Affordable Care Act’s small business tax credit in 2010, helping offset her group coverage cost. “We’re still filing our 2011 returns, but we anticipate saving nearly that amount again,” she said. “With us paying the full contributions for our employees’ insurance, it really is a relief to get some help with those costs — and this is certainly the first time we’ve been financially rewarded for looking out for their wellbeing.”

Nan is one of hundreds of thousands of employers already seeing her health care costs decrease with the help of the tax credits. According to national opinion polling we released in 2011, one-third of small business owners who currently don’t offer health coverage are more likely to start doing so because of them, and 33 percent of employers already offering it said they’re more likely to continue doing so.

Currently, businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees who pay at least 50 percent of total premiums are eligible for a credit of up to 35 percent of their premium contribution. In 2014, that will jump to 50 percent. For a rough estimate of how much your business could save, check out Small Business Majority’s tax credit calculator.

In this tough economy small business owners are struggling to compete, and in some cases, just keep their doors open. Like some of the law’s other key components, the tax credits are intended to boost entrepreneurs’ bottom lines, bettering their chances of offering quality coverage. Some use it to become more competitive by bulking up benefits packages, while others purchase new equipment. Still others put it toward their employees’ share of premiums.

For Ron Nelsen, owner of Pioneer Overhead Door in Las Vegas, Nevada, the credit eased worries that group costs might spiral so far out of control that he’d be robbed of his commitment to offering insurance. “When I heard about the new health care law, I was relieved something was finally being done to help entrepreneurs like me,” he said. “In 2010, I got back $2,235 just for offering insurance to deserving employees. And this year, I received even more. Most importantly, I’m not thinking about having to tell the guys they’re on their own when it comes to health insurance.”

Nationally, 309,000 small businesses saved money through this provision in 2010. An even larger number should benefit this year. And research shows the uptake could be even greater. Our opinion poll found 57 percent of small business owners do not know about the tax credits. It’s time to change that. To help them, we must get the word out and do everything we can to make sure this important provision is taken advantage of. In this economy, every little bit helps.

Small Business Owners Support Higher Taxes on Millionaires as First Step in Comprehensive Tax Code Reform

John Arensmeyer

John Arensmeyer

Original statement issued on April 10, 2012:

Small business owners believe they’re at a disadvantage when it comes to taxes and support a higher tax rate for individuals earning more than $1 million a year, according to national opinion polling. The Paying a Fair Share Act (also known as the Buffett Rule), introduced today and slated to be voted on in the Senate next week, is in line with the views of our primary job creators and is one piece of much-needed comprehensive tax reform.

Some claim raising taxes on the top 1 percent of Americans would hurt small businesses. However, 57 percent of small business owners agree those earning more than $1 million annually should pay a higher tax rate, and only one small business owner out of 500 polled reported their annual household income to be more than $1 million.

We wish more small business owners were millionaires, but unfortunately it’s just not the case. We hope senators listen to the small business community when this bill comes before them next week.