Hours ahead of a critical vote in the Senate, more than 1,500 small business owners from around the country delivered a letter to Capitol Hill opposing the Republican tax bill, calling instead for strong investment in communities and healthcare.
The small business leaders who signed onto the letter expressed concerns that Republicans in Congress were cutting billions from bedrock services such as Medicare, Medicaid, education, and infrastructure spending in order to pay for permanent tax cuts for very wealthy individuals and multinational corporations. Without critical public investment, the middle- and low-income customers who frequent Main Street are left with higher costs of living and less disposable income, compromising the vitality of local economies and long-term sustainability of small businesses.
Senator Ron Wyden and Main Street Alliance elaborated on the harm the GOP’s tax plan will cause small businesses during a call for reporters on November 29.
“What the Republicans produced was a multi-trillion dollar handout for multinational corporations and tax cheats,” said Senator Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. “It’s going to raise taxes on hardworking Americans, and leave small businesses in a lurch.”
“Reducing the corporate tax rate further tilts the scale in favor of large corporations and puts Main Street businesses at an even greater disadvantage,” said ReShonda Young, a Main Street Alliance executive committee member and owner of Iowa-based Popcorn Heaven, which has five locations in four states. “I have nothing against businesses making a profit, and I have nothing against the wealthy. My issue is with my elected representatives only representing themselves and their wealthy counterparts, instead of the vast majority of their constituents, who they are also elected to serve.”
Other small business owners on the press call emphasized how investment in essential services like healthcare and education facilitates entrepreneurship.
“When I first became a business owner, my family and I had to utilize services like Medicare for critical healthcare needs,” said Emily Spetrino, owner of Coronado Restaurant and Dark Hall Coffee in Phoenix, Arizona. “If I hadn’t been able to access health care, I would have been unable to open my first restaurant and wouldn’t be able to contribute to my community through my now-successful business.”
Republicans in Congress and the White House have been touting one key provision in the tax bill, the cut to the pass-through rate, as a boost to small business. The vast majority of true small businesses, however, would see no change in their tax rate in either current version of the tax bill.
“Wealthy passive investors get the full benefit of the pass-through loophole, but active business owners, like Main Street small business owners, likely won’t benefit,” said Sapna Mehta, Legislative Policy Director of the Main Street Alliance. “What this tax bill actually does is take away from small business owners and customers to give a permanent cut to the top one percent.”