Small business owners: We’re proud to be American businesses and proud to pay our fair share of taxes
**Small Business Owners Available for Comment**Washington, D.C. –– With Tax Season in full swing, business owners and working families across the country are standing together, proud to live, work, and support the United States and their local communities. Small business owners across the country know that their tax dollars go to support the communities that help to make their businesses thrive. Investments in our schools, public infrastructure, safety, and much more depend on everyone paying their fair share of taxes.
Despite relying on American customers and taxpayers for their profitability, many large businesses have recently decided to undertake a so-called “corporate tax inversion,” made possible by a loophole in the tax code that allows American companies to reincorporate in a foreign country when just 20% of its stock is owned outside of the United States.
In response, today over 500 business owners, The Main Street Alliance (MSA), and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) have pledged to remain in the US, and not abandon their country.
“As a small business owner, I’m grateful for my country and community, they’ve helped my business thrive for over 32 years,” said Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, Oregon. “I’m proud to pay my fair share of taxes to help keep my community healthy and strong. My tax dollars help pay for roads and bridges, schools and teachers, and all other public services that my business, and my customers, depend on. Big corporations should do the same and pay their fair share for all the services that helped them build their abundant profits.”
Business owners across the country—and political spectrum—overwhelmingly support closing corporate tax loopholes, like ones that allow for inversions, rather than making more cuts. Small business owners are calling for their Legislatures—and Congress—to close tax loopholes that allow businesses to extract wealth from our communities.
"For us, being a community business means paying our fair share of taxes" , Said Fausto Rodriguez, manager of Woodside Medical Clinic in Jackson Heights, Queens, "Tax inversions are simply an unfair way for larger corporations to take from the communities where they are without giving back. After everything our community here has done for us after 26 years here, it would be inconceivable to betray them by claiming a corporate office overseas."
###The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. MSA and its state affiliates create opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies. www.mainstreetalliance.org
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 165,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. www.asbcouncil.org
Last week, Reuters reported on a new study detailing how a majority of Fortune 500 companies use offshore tax havens to avoid their full U.S. tax responsibility.
Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz tells Bill Moyers that these lucrative tax loopholes are contributing to widening income inequality and hurting economic growth in the U.S.
Yet, the response from some in Congress appears to be doubling down on offshore tax avoidance – pushing to renew offshore tax loopholes as part of an unpaid for “tax extenders” package, and giving full-throated endorsement to the notion of a so-called “repatriation tax holiday,” a patriotic sounding name for what amounts to a “get-out-of-taxes-free” card on profits booked offshore.
Corporate tax dodgers’ apologists often claim that returning offshore profits to the U.S. – even at a severely discounted tax rate – would bring with it new revenue for economy-boosting investments in America.
This week, a new report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ non-partisan scorekeeper, threw cold water on that claim. Bloomberg reports that, while a repatriation tax holiday would temporarily return some new revenue to American soil, the Joint Committee on Taxation has concluded that such a move would ultimately cost the U.S. treasury $95.8 billion over the next decade.
For small businesses, corporate offshore tax dodging is a two-headed beast. The first devours resources necessary for economy-boosting investments, while the second breathes fire onto small business competitors who pay their fair share of taxes, unfairly exacerbating the competitive advantage large corporations already enjoy.
Main Street Alliance leader Deb Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland, Ore., writes in a guest column in the Oregonian:
“I'm proud to pay my fair share of taxes. Most of us realize that it's the price of sustaining our public infrastructure, schools, legal system and other things essential to making America an excellent place to do business. Corporations that take advantage of all America has to offer and then refuse to pay their fair share in taxes are shirking their civic responsibilities.”
Tim Foster, owner of Patriotic Motors in Spokane, WA, sums it up in the Spokesman Review: “Corporations making record profits shouldn’t need tax breaks that are paid for on the backs of hard-working Americans and small businesses.”
If Congress wants to boost the economy, combat widening income inequality, and support small business success, it’s time to cut offshore corporate tax dodging beast off at the head(s).
On April 9, the Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council released the results of new scientific polling of small business owners on corporate tax reform. The scientific live phone survey of 515 small business owners nationwide found small business owners strongly oppose a "territorial" tax system (which would permanently exempt offshore profits from U.S. taxation) and support proposals to close overseas tax loopholes and end deferral of U.S. taxes on profits corporations make or shift offshore.