Following the recent House of Representatives passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Americans in Florida and across the country agree: Now is the time to give hardworking small businesses the tax relief they need to power our economic growth into next year and beyond. With one more legislative session to go before Thanksgiving, Congress must rise to the occasion.
Poll after poll now shows that voters see tax cuts for small businesses as the sweet spot for tax policy and economic performance. Over 80 percent agree Congress needs to pass a tax bill, according to a new America First Policies survey. Specifically, 80 percent favor rate cuts that grow family paychecks, grow local businesses and grow the national economy.
Regardless of party identification, over three in five voters disapprove of the status quo.
As it stands now, small-business owners suffer from their tax status as pass-through entities, which means they often have to pay individual rates of nearly 50 percent in federal, state and local taxes. That’s more than large corporations — so much so that, in order to cope, job creators have to spend precious time and money on filing and outside help. One in three told the National Small Business Administration in its latest tax survey that the annual process chews up two weeks’ worth of work. It’s no wonder that four out of every five small-business owners went on to say their top tax goal was rate cuts and higher deductions.
Fortunately, the White House has recognized the importance of leading on taxes. The Trump administration’s plan would cut the income tax rate for small businesses to 25 percent, encouraging growth. Small businesses have plenty of room to grow, as I’ve learned providing capital access to expanding businesses and startups. In Florida, 97 percent of all small businesses employ no more than 20 people. But they create three out of every four jobs in the state.
As I’ve experienced, investors can park their money during uncertain times. Not so with small businesses, who see opportunity around every corner and invest accordingly. Tax cuts would go to raising wages, adding employees and expanding facilities, a majority of owners agreed in a recent survey by the Job Creators Network. Half concurred that those cuts were the most helpful policy legislators can pursue right now.
And the American people are right there with small-business owners. Most Americans want a major overhaul of our onerous tax burdens, and view new tax cuts as the key to strengthening our finances, increasing our jobs and powering our growth.
Floridians have a lot riding on Congress’ ability to pass extensive tax cuts. Our state is host to more than 2 million small businesses, which employ over 3 million employees. That’s over 40 percent of the entire private-sector workforce. Florida is the kind of place where legislation has been put forward to create a “Small Business Saturday” to kick off the holidays, when shopping season puts many small businesses over the top for the year.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Congress has an all-important chance to come through for small businesses — and the millions and millions of Americans who win big when they do.
Aaron Bean is a State Senator from Florida’s 4th District.