Obama tax plan worries small business owners

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Small business owners from around the country — who could feel the pinch from tax provisions in President Obama’s budget — arrived in Washington today to remind lawmakers that their reality does not include bailouts and golden parachutes.

“The tax policy has a direct impact on the amount of money we have to invest,” said Paul Robinson, who owns a medical supply manufacturing business in Bloomington, Minn.

In testimony before the Republican Economic Recovery Working Group, Robinson raised concern over taxes that could hit small business owners under Obama’s plan, which could raise taxes on those making over $250,000.
“It might be popular to say soak the rich…but we are not independently wealthy…there are no corporate jets. Even a weekend off is a nicety,” Robinson said.

Republicans, including Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., who is part of the Working Group, have raised concern over how the tax provisions in Obama’s budget could stand to affect small business owners.

In statements from the Senate floor on Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that $250,000 “sounds like a lot of money to most Americans. But, we’re not just talking about the idle rich.”

Obama, meanwhile, launched something of a campaign with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner this week to draw attention to what is being done to help small business owners.

Highlights, according to Obama and Geithner, include setting aside government money to help small businesses to expanding federal guarantees and lowering lending fees and a $730 million plan to increase Small Business Association lending.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 03/20/2009 - 07:11 am.

    I am trying hard, but cannot, understand how raising taxes on net income over $250,000 has any differential effect on small business owners. Why would the source of income matter?

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 03/21/2009 - 05:21 pm.

    Mr. Flister: Since early in the runup to the 2008 election, some Republicans have been putting forth the fiction that letting the Bush tax cuts on those making over $200,000 (single) or $250,000 (married couple) will hurt small businesses. You are right to question that scare-talk assertion. And I for one am really tired of hearing them make it.

    The $200,000/$250,000 figures refer to a business owner’s personal take-home income AFTER all business expenses are deducted.

  3. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 03/22/2009 - 01:48 am.

    Thanks Ms. Vetch!
    So, I wonder whether Ms. Dizikes can explain how an increase on the marginal tax rate on the *net* income from a small business is of more concern than the same increase on anyone else?
    If it isn’t of more concern, then why write this article?

  4. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 03/22/2009 - 02:22 pm.

    I don’t know. She knows more about tax law than I do (who doesn’t?), but I DO know that the intent is to avoid harming small businesses. There are a couple different ways to form a company, however, so the difference may lie there.

    Any accountants out there?

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