Editor's note: This originally ran in the Post and Courier as a letter to the editor on Nov. 30.
The verdict of small business owners is in for the GOP tax reform plans that would give a permanent 43 percent tax cut to big corporations. That includes the Senate version possibly being voted on this week.
While bipartisanship has been absent in the tax reform plans, a national poll released recently by Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform finds that Republican, Democrat and independent small business owners overwhelmingly believe that they are not being treated fairly by the plans.
Only 20 percent support the GOP plans to make the tax cut for big corporations permanent but only temporary for small business owners. Fifty-eight percent oppose.
Only 20 percent support the GOP plans to allow corporations to continue to deduct state and local taxes while not allowing small business owners to do so. Sixty-nine percent oppose.
Only 24 percent think that the GOP plans put small businesses on a level playing field with big businesses. Sixty percent disagree.
As a result, a majority of small business owners (51 percent) oppose the tax plans in Congress. Support - 34 percent, not sure -15 percent.
Here are some more of the poll results that should be setting off alarms in the U.S. Senate:
- Small businesses are harmed when large corporations can exploit tax loopholes to lower their tax rates. Seventy percent agree, 23 percent disagree, 7 percent unsure.
- Large corporations should not be able to choose to declare some or all their income in a foreign country to lower their taxes. Seventy-two percent agree, 20 percent disagree, 9 percent unsure.
- The tax plans increase the national debt by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Do you support or oppose? Sixty-one percent oppose, 28 percent support, 12 percent not sure.
These proposals are a giant giveaway to big businesses and the wealthy and if passed will have serious and long-lasting ramifications for the majority of small business owners in this country - the very people creating new jobs and bolstering local economies.
Congressional efforts to quickly pass tax reform are clearly not in the best interest of small businesses. It is time for Washington to step back from doing the bidding of large corporations and focus on the needs of small businesses.
Tax reform that simplifies the tax code and helps level the playing field for small businesses, while growing our economy by putting more money in the hands of the Main Street consumer, should be the goal. It's time for Congress to scrap the current proposals and start over by writing tax reform in a bipartisan manner that allows input from all parties and restores regular order for developing legislation.
Frank Knapp Jr.
CEO and president
S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce