NFIB Small Business Growth Agenda For 114th Congress

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SMALL BUSINESSGROWTH AGENDAfor the 114th Congress

SMALL BUSINESS: THE KEY TOSTRENGTHENING AMERICA’S ECONOMYDan Danner, NFIB President and CEOWhile the small-business economy continuesto recover, the perspective of those whohave faced the unique challenges of owningand running a business will be invaluable in the114th Congress. While I know that the 31 NFIBbusiness-owner members who are now servingin Congress will be sharing their perspectives indiscussions and debates daily, we also offer theNFIB Small Business Growth Agenda for the114th Congress as a reference guide to vital smallbusiness data and policy information. I hope this publication willbecome your small-business desktop resource, always within reach.For America’s small-business owners, doing the right thing for small business is much morethan a campaign promise or political slogan. The policy decisions that affect America’s smallemployers are personal, with an impact on their way of life, their livelihoods and their abilityto provide economic certainty to their families and their employees—two groups that oftenoverlap in small businesses.No one has a greater incentive, responsibility or ability to grow the economy than America’ssmall-business owners. Their collective wisdom and wishes must be heard by lawmakersat all levels. At NFIB, we are honored to serve as the prominent voice of the small-businessmessage. Our legislative positions are member-driven and research-backed, based onsmall-business owner member ballots, which allow each NFIB member one vote and surveyinformation from NFIB’s Research Foundation. When we ask for your vote on behalf ofsmall business, rest assured that our policy position comes directly from our membership.Since 1943, NFIB has served as a vital resource for lawmakers and policymakers inWashington, the state legislatures, the courts and wherever crucial decisions affecting smallbusinesses are made. We look forward to working with you during the 114th Congress tohelp grow the small-business economy and restore small business to its crucial role as thenation’s most effective creator of jobs and economic stability.Sincerely,Dan DannerPresident and CEONational Federation of Independent Business

SMALL BUSINESSGROWTH AGENDAfor the 114th CongressTABLE OF CONTENTSSmall Business: The Key to Strengthening America’sEconomy by NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner . . . . . inside coverWho is NFIB? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Small Business by the Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4NFIB Legislative Priorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6The Agenda for Small Business Growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Healthcare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Labor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21NFIB Small-Business ResourcesThe Political Department and Grassroots . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23The Research FoundationAbout the Research Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24NFIB Small Business Economic Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24NFIB National Small Business Poll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities . . . . . . . . . . .25The Small Business Legal Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27The Young Entrepreneur Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28NFIB Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30Small Business Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress1

WHO IS NFIB?NFIB member Kristen RankerThe National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’sleading small-business advocacy organization, with offices inWashington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Our mission is topromote and protect the right of our members to own, operateand grow their businesses.Founded in 1943, as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- andindependent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affecttheir businesses. Operating in different industries across the nation, these Americanentrepreneurs serve as the crucial links in the vast and vital chain of small businessesthat securely hold America’s economy together in good times and bad.NFIB’s members make up a powerful network of grassroots activists that send theirviews to federal and state lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot processand survey information from NFIB’s Research Foundation, thus playing a criticalrole in supporting America’s free enterprise system. Once their final results have beenreported, NFIB carries a unified message to Congress and the 50 state legislatures,backed by the clout of more than 350,000 NFIB members.When the 114th Congress was sworn in, 31 of those taking the oath of office wereNFIB members and could proudly point to themselves when asked the question,“Who is NFIB?”NFIB expects the 114th Congress to listen closely to small-business owners, not onlybecause so many members will hail from the small-business community, but becausethey know that small businesses are America’s job creators.2WWW.NFIB.COM/114THGUIDE

1%2%NFIB MEMBERSHIP BYNUMBER OF EMPLOYEES9%Employs 1-514%1%Employs 10-192%60%Employs 6-9Employs 20-5014%9%Employs 51-100EmploysEmploys 1-5100 14%Employs 6-9Employs 10-1960%Employs 20-5014%Employs 51-100NFIB MEMBERSHIPPROFILEEmploys 100 NFIB’s national membership reflects the face of American small business overall.Our members are a highly diverse group of manufacturers, retailers, farmers, serviceproviders and other entrepreneurial professionals; however, all NFIB members haveServicesone thing in common—their6%businesses are independently owned.8%28%Retail10%ConstructionDISTRIBUTION OF NFIBAgriculture,Forestry,MEMBERSBYINDUSTRYFishing, leRetail10%Finance, Insurance,ConstructionReal EstateAgriculture, Forestry,Fishing, Mining14%Manufacturing14%Small Business Growth Agenda for the 114th CongressWHO IS NFIB?Wholesale20%Finance, Insurance,Real Estate3

SMALL BUSINESS BY THE NUMBERSGENERALHEALTHCARE Small businesses make up99.7 percent of U.S.employer businesses.1 Since 2004, the averageannual premiums for asmall firm’s family coverageincreased 63 percent.4 In 2010, there were 5.7million small-employerbusinesses and 22 millionnon-employer smallbusinesses.2 Small businesses havegenerated 63 percentof net new jobs over thepast 20 years and employabout half of all privatesector employees.3 The NFIB Research Foundationfound 62 percent of smallbusinesses experiencedpremium increases from2013 to 2014.5 Only 40 percent of smallemployers report offeringemployer-sponsored healthinsurance, which is down6 percentage pointsfrom the prior year.6REGULATIONS Government regulation is regularly cited in NFIB’s Small BusinessEconomic Trends survey as one of the top three concerns forsmall-business owners.10 Compliance with federal environmental regulations costssmall businesses 364% more than large businesses.11 On a per-employee basis, it costs businesses with less than 20employees 2,830 more than those with 500 or more employeesto comply with government regulations.1244WWW.NFIB.COM/114THGUIDE

TAXESLABOR The cost of complying withthe tax code is 67 percent According to NFIB ResearchFoundation’s National SmallBusiness Poll on BusinessStructure, 87.5 percent ofall small employers do nothave an employee (excludingthe owner) whose only job ispersonnel or human resources.13higher for a small businessas compared to the cost ofcompliance for a larger business.7 Small businesses spend nearly2 billion hours annuallystruggling to comply withtaxes. This cost to the nation’sentrepreneurial sector is 18billion to 19 billioneach year.8 Sixty-five percent ofsmall employers who had acurrent job opening or had oneavailable in the last three yearsasked current employeesto help recruit.14 Tax paperwork isthe most expensivepaperwork burdenthe federal governmentplaces on small businesses.It has been calculated tocost 74 per hour.913456789101112131415U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics of U.S. Businesses, 2007.Ibid.Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics, 1993-2013.Kaiser/HRET, Survey of Employer Health Benefits, series, 2014. The survey defines small businesses as those with 3-199 employees.NFIB Research Foundation, Small Business’s Introduction to the Affordable Care Act, Part II, series. The survey defines small businesses as those with2-100 employees.Ibid.Ibid.Donald DeLuca and Scott Stilmar, Aggregate Estimates of Small Business Taxpayer Compliance Burden, IRS Research Bulletin, 2007.William J. Dennis, Paperwork and Record-keeping, National Small Business Poll Vol.3, Iss. 5, NFIB Research Foundation, 2003.William C. Dunkelberg and Holly Wade, Small Business Economic Trends, series, NFIB Research Foundation.Nicole V. Crain and W. Mark Crain, The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms, SBA Office of Advocacy, 2010.Ibid.William J. Dennis, Business Structure, National Small Business Poll, Vol. 4, Iss. 7, 2004, NFIB Research Foundation.William J. Dennis, Job Vacancies, National Small Business Poll, Vol. 7, Iss. 8, 2005, NFIB Research Foundation.William J. Dennis, Training Employees, National Small Business Poll, Vol. 5, Iss. 1, 2005, NFIB Research FoundationSmall Business Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress5SMALL BUSINESS BY THE NUMBERS2 Seventy-nine percent ofsmall employers typicallyrequire experience whenhiring people for their most skilledposition in their business.15

THE NFIB LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIESFOR THE 114TH CONGRESSFront row: (left to right): Steve Keen, Casey Flanagan, Lauren Hughes, Amanda Austin, Dan Bosch; Back row: (left to right): Jordan Forbes,Matt Turkstra, Kate Bonner, Dan Danner, Nick Karellas, Caitlin McDevitt, Kevin Kuhlman; Not pictured Dan MartiniIn Washington, D.C., NFIB’s federal public policy team carries themessage of small-business owners to Capitol Hill. These experienced,professional members have worked in congressional offices and onpolitical campaigns. They are passionate about small businesses, andthey are experts in key small-business issues, such as healthcare, taxesand regulations.Before an NFIB Key Vote, NFIB asks lawmakers to supportthe consensus view of our membership. NFIB holds lawmakersaccountable by publishing the How Congress Voted reportafter each Congress. Each lawmaker who votes for NFIB’sposition on at least 70 percent of the Key Votes earns theGuardian of Small Business Award. This unique processallows NFIB’s positions to advance the consensus of the smallbusiness community.How Congress Voted6WWW.NFIB.COM/114THGUIDE

GUARDIANS OF SMALL BUSINESS AWARDNFIB’S TOP PRIORITIES FOR THE114TH CONGRESS INCLUDE: Making healthcaremore accessibleand affordable. Reducing taxes,maintainingpermanency andsimplifying thetax code. Easing the burden ofexcessive regulationsand intrusive laws. Reducing energy costs. Simplifying thehiring process andclarifying labor rulesand regulations.THE AGENDA FOR SMALL BUSINESS GROWTHClockwise from the top left: Dan Danner and Rep. Henry Cuellar; Dan Danner and Rep. Collin Peterson; Dan Danner and Rep. Diane Black; Dan Dannerand Sen. Kelly Ayotte; Dan Danner and Rep. Charles Boustany; Dan Danner and Rep. Kristi Noem; Standing (left to right): Dave Davis, Jim Matteson,Mark Swope, Gwen Turner, Speaker John Boehner, Dan Danner, Joe Markovitch, Jay Bowlby, John CasellaSmall Business Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress7

THE AGENDA FOR SMALL BUSINESS GROWTHDan Danner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellHEALTHCARE: THE RISING COST OF HEALTHINSURANCE HAS BEEN THE NO. 1 PROBLEM FOR SMALLBUSINESSES FOR THREE DECADES AND HEALTHCAREREGULATORY UNCERTAINTY IS CAUSING TURMOILMany small-business owners would like the option to offer health insuranceto their employees, but increased costs have made this goal difficult toachieve. For 30 years, the rising cost of health insurance has been cited asthe No. 1 problem facing small businesses.16 In the last decade, rising premiumshave significantly outpaced wages and inflation.17 This trend will likely continue,and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will likely exacerbatethis problem for small businesses.Moreover, healthcare regulatory uncertainty is negatively impacting small businesses. Small-businessowners continue to experience turmoil as the ACA is implemented, especially with the administrativedelays and adjustments they have had to contend with throughout the regulatory process. Businessowners are finding that changes are being dictated to them by regulators and insurance carriers. As aresult, they have less flexibility to adjust their coverage options, and they must await further regulatoryand legislative changes.1617NFIB Research Foundation, Small Business Problems and Priorities, series.Kaiser/HRET, Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2014.8WWW.NFIB.COM/114THGUIDE

NFIB’s small-business and self-employed entrepreneurs need healthcare reform that lowers costs, providesmore choices and promotes greater competition in the private insurance marketplace. These reformsare critical, but to be workable and sustainable, they must be balanced against the overall cost of doingbusiness. Unfortunately, the ACA’s new taxes, mandates and compliance requirements will hit smallbusinesses just as they recover economically.KEY FACTS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES AND HEALTH INSURANCE: The average annual family premium for covered employees in small firms increased 63 percent. Familycoverage insurance premiums for small firms increased from 9,737 in 2004 to 15,849 in 2014.18 The NFIB Research Foundation found 62 percent of small businesses experienced premiumincreases from 2013 to 2014.19 Only 40 percent of small employers report offering employer-sponsored health insurance, which isdown 6 percentage points from the prior year.20 Cost increases and regulatory turmoil have forced small-business owners to make difficultchoices. In order to avoid ACA-related cost increases, 12 percent of small businesses renewed theirnoncompliant plans early, according to the NFIB Research Foundation.21CHALLENGE FOR SMALL BUSINESSESNFIB members are concerned about the following ACA provisions: the employer mandate, the full-timeemployee definition, the essential health benefits package and the small-business health insurance tax(HIT), which have increased costs and decreased flexibility. The employer mandate will cost non-offering employers and will burden offering employers withincreased compliance responsibilities and administrative costs. The employer mandate negativelyimpacts both employers that offer coverage as well as those that do not. While offering employersstruggle to afford the new mandate and comply with uncertain Internal Revenue Service (IRS)tracking and reporting requirements, non-offering employers are hit with penalties ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 per full-time employee. In addition, the eventual 50 full-time equivalent (FTE)employee threshold of the employer mandate provides a strong disincentive to grow a business. The 30-hour full-time employee definition has resulted in reduced hours and take-home pay. The essential health benefits (EHB) package has increased costs and must be revisited to focus onaffordability. Every new health insurance plan in the individual and small-group health insurancemarkets is required to cover a comprehensive list of 10 broad benefit mandates. These mandateshave increased the cost of health insurance coverage for small business and self-employed individualsby decreasing flexibility in plan design and increasing the amount of services that health insuranceproducts must cover. This increase in benefits and services does not apply to larger businesses, only18192021Kaiser/HRET, Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 2014.NFIB Research Foundation, Small Business’s Introduction to the Affordable Care Act, Part II, series. The survey defines small businesses as those with 2-100 employees.Ibid.Ibid.Small Business Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress9THE AGENDA FOR SMALL BUSINESS GROWTHThe employer mandate negatively impacts employees. For the first time in federal law, a full-timeemployee definition was established and set at 30-hours per week. As the employer mandate isphased in, an increasing number of employees could see their hours reduced in order for employersto avoid employer mandate requirements and penalties. The employer mandate is a lose-lose scenariofor both employers and employees. For smaller employers, the regulatory definition could be used forother laws and regulations now that it has a statutory basis.

to small businesses. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must revisit the EHBpackage before 2017. The small-group market expands to businesses with up to 100 employees in2016, meaning more businesses and employees must comply with increased insurance requirements. The small-business health insurance tax (HIT) will fall almost entirely on small employers. TheHIT targets the insurance plans that 87 percent of small employers purchase.22 Although the tax islevied on health insurance providers, it is being passed on to small businesses and the self-employedin the fully insured market in the form of increased premiums, adding up to an additional 500 peryear for each family plan.23 This tax does not sunset and continues to increase annually.NFIB leads the Stop the HIT Coalition, which represents the nation’s small-business owners, theiremployees and the self-employed who are actively working to provide relief from the small-businessHIT provision in the healthcare law. For more information, please visit www.stopthehit.com.SOLUTIONS TO DRIVE AFFORDABILITY AND FLEXIBILITYPROTECT SMALL BUSINESSES FROM THE MOST COSTLY ANDCOUNTERPRODUCTIVE PROVISIONS OF THE HEALTHCARE LAW.The healthcare law falls heavily on small business through scores of new taxes, fees and mandates, aswell as additional paperwork and burdensome reporting requirements. NFIB will work to protect smallbusinesses from the most egregious provisions of the law, including the employer mandate, the smallbusiness HIT and the new insurance product requirements (EHB).NFIB leads the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, which works to increase the accessto and affordability of health insurance for small-business owners, employees and the self-employed. Formore information, please visit www.smallbusinesshealthcarecoalition.com.ENABLE EMPLOYERS TO PROVIDE EMPLOYEES WITH MORE OPTIONS.Our health insurance system should recognize that the employer-employee relationship in America haschanged considerably since employer-sponsored insurance began in the 1940s. As a result, roughly 80percent of small employers that offer health insurance provide just one plan to their employees, forcingemployees to “take it or leave it.”24 The IRS regulations prohibiting reimbursement arrangements havefurther limited the ability of employers to provide assistance for employees’ health insurance costs.Employers should be provided with a new option that allows them to voluntarily give their employees taxadvantaged resources so employees can tailor health insurance choices to their own preferences and needs.BUILD A STRONGER INDIVIDUAL MARKET.Employees should not be required to rely on the current employer-based health insurance system. Theemployer-based system continues to suffer from rising costs and is unable to meet the needs of the dynamicjob market, where individuals are moving and changing careers more frequently. A more individuallyowned health insurance system will promote better consumerism, increased portability and fewerregulatory burdens. Strengthening the individual marketplace to compete with the existing employer-basedmarketplace will allow for more choice and competition.222324U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends. Medical Expenditure Panel SurveyInsurance Component, 2013, Washington, D.C. The referenced statistic is of firms with less than 50 employees.Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Higher costs and the Affordable Care Act: The Case of the Premium Tax, American Action Forum, March 19, 2011.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends. Medical Expenditure Panel SurveyInsurance Component, 2012, Washington, D.C. The referenced statistic is of firms with less than 50 employees.10WWW.NFIB.COM/114THGUIDE

Sen. John Cornyn at an NFIB member businessEXPAND TAX DEDUCTIBILITY TO INDIVIDUALS AND THE SELF-EMPLOYED.Today, despite their continued contributions to our economy, the self-employed cannot deduct healthinsurance costs from self-employment taxes. Fixing this inequity is a necessary step that must be taken sosmall-business owners have a more affordable pathway to healthcare by allowing them to deduct healthinsurance costs from their self-employment taxes. This simple change will bring much-needed parity to thetax code and the health insurance marketplace.PRESERVE AND EXPAND CONSUMER-DRIVEN HEALTHCARE.FOCUS ON AFFORDABILITY WHEN REVISITING BENEFIT MANDATES.Increased benefits result in increased costs. The HHS established a transition period for 2014-2015, deferringthe EHB selection process to the states and offering a limited menu of plan options from which states maychoose. The HHS must revisit the EHB package regulation soon. Legislators, regulators and state insurancecommissioners must focus on affordability and flexibility when the benefit mandate package is revisited.ENACT MEDICAL LIABILITY REFORM.Reforming the medical malpractice liability system will reduce unnecessary litigation and legal costs thatcurrently take a heavy toll on small-business owners’ ability to obtain affordable healthcare coverage fortheir employees. The threat of litigation and its high costs also hinders physicians who run their practicesas small businesses, rather than working for larger entities. Federal and state efforts must aim at reformingtoday’s overly litigious tort system.25Kaiser/HRET, Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, series, 2014.Small Business Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress11THE AGENDA FOR SMALL BUSINESS GROWTHConsumer-driven health insurance products, such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health SavingsAccounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) enable businesses and consumersto reduce costs while preserving quality care. Among small businesses that offer health insurance, highdeductible health plans have increased in popularity from four percent offering an HRA or HSA in 2005 to27 percent offering an HRA or HSA in 2014.25 Restoring and enhancing the ability of consumers to use theseaccounts will offer significant progress toward giving individuals control over their own healthcare spending.

TAXES: A PERSISTENT PROBLEM FORAMERICA’S ECONOMIC ENGINEHigh tax rates and tax code complexity are persistent problems for smallbusiness owners. In NFIB’s latest edition of Small Business Problems andPriorities, federal and state taxes on business income ranked as the sixthworst problem and tax complexity holds seventh place. The current InternalRevenue Code affects small businesses in many ways, and it is important toacknowledge how potential changes to the code affect both business decisionsand growth.In order to know how these changes affect small businesses, it is important to understand how they arestructured. The vast majority of small businesses are organized as pass-through entities, which pay taxeson business income at the individual rate. Pass-through businesses do not pay corporate income tax. Apass-through entity is any business that is organized as a sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liabilitycompany (LLC) or S corporation. The term “pass-through” comes from the way the income earned by thebusiness “passes through” to the owner. Increasing the individual rate, taxes the capital the business relieson to purchase new equipment, pay salaries and benefits of employees and meet day-to-day expenses.Pass-through businesses play an important role in the economy and have been a growing source ofentrepreneurship. Therefore, the tax implications of choosing a pass-through entity should play a majorrole in any tax reform debate and tax reform should include lowering the individual tax rate.KEY FACTS ABOUT SMALL BUSINESSES AND TAXES: High tax rates limit investment, reduce cash flow and discourage the start of new businesses. Lessafter-tax income means less growth and less job creation by small businesses. The vast majority of small businesses do not pay taxes at the corporate tax rate. According to anNFIB National Small Business Poll, 75 percent of employing small businesses are organized as passthrough entities (S corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships or partnerships) and pay taxes on theirbusiness income at the individual rate. Tax complexity drains time and financial resources from small-business owners, which forces themto seek expensive professional assistance from an external accounting firm. In fact, 91 percent ofNFIB members use a professional tax preparer because they do not have in-house accountants. The most important source of financing for small business is their earnings, i.e. cash flow. Thisexplains why cash flow is ranked 13th out of 75 potential business problems in NFIB’s SmallBusiness Problems and Priorities. Since cash flow is closely tied to the tax burden, five out of thetop ten small-business concerns in Problems and Priorities are tax-related.CHALLENGE FOR SMALL BUSINESSESNFIB members are concerned with the lack of permanency and continued complexity of the tax code thatshould be reformed. Constant changes to certain tax provisions each year, coupled with the complexity ofthe tax code make it difficult for small-business owners to forecast and plan for future investments and tohire new employees.12WWW.NFIB.COM/114THGUIDE

NFIB member Mary HartnerSOLUTIONS TO REDUCE TAXES, MAINTAINPERMANENCY AND SIMPLIFY THE TAX CODELOWER THE INDIVIDUAL TAX RATE.Any effort to reform the tax code should include lowering individual tax rates to support pass-throughbusinesses. The vast majority of small businesses are taxed at individual rates and reforming only corporatetax rates, by eliminating business deductions, would result in small businesses paying higher effective tax rates.MAKE SMALL-BUSINESS TAX EXTENDERS PERMANENT.CONTINUE EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE THE ESTATE TAX.The American Taxpayer Relief Act’s permanent extension of an exemption level at 5 million per spouseand a tax rate of 40 percent is a significant step towards the eventual full repeal of the estate tax. While theAmerican Taxpayer Relief Act’s estate tax provisions represent progress, the estate tax still hinders economicgrowth because it forces small-business owners to undertake extensive planning that takes cash out of theirbusinesses. In a recent NFIB study, 34 percent of small-business owners incurred estate tax planning costswithin the past five years. Full and permanent repeal remains the best option for small businesses.NFIB currently co-leads the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition, which is dedicated to the fulland permanent repeal of the estate tax. Further information about the coalition can be found atwww.estatetaxrelief.org.Small Business Growth Agenda for the 114th Congress13THE AGENDA FOR SMALL BUSINESS GROWTHSmall-business expensing (Section 179 in the tax code) allows small businesses to immediately deduct thefull value of investments in equipment in the year that the investment is made, instead of depreciating theinvestments over time. This simplifies accounting and frees up cash to be reinvested in the business. NFIBsupports permanently increasing the expensing amount to 500,000 and expanding Section 179 to allowa taxpayer to expense the cost of some improvements to real property. If this expensing provision is madepermanent, a recent NFIB Research Foundation study projects that there would be nearly 200,000 morejobs and 18.6 billion in higher economic productivity. Higher expensing limits and the inclusion of realproperty improvements should be made permanent, along with other tax extenders that are importantto small businesses, including the 15-year depreciation of restaurant, retail and leasehold improvements;deduction of state and local sales taxes; and built-in gains holding period relief.

ELIMINATE THE ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX.The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was enacted by Congress in 1969, to target a handful of wealthyindividuals who had not paid any federal income taxes. In doing so, however, Congress added needlesscomplexity to the tax code. The AMT is time-consuming and burdensome to calculate and often resultsin a surprising tax liability when small-business owners file their taxes. While the American TaxpayerRelief Act of 2012 permanently indexed an AMT “patch” to inflation, preventing an even greater share ofsmall businesses from being ensnared in the AMT, a large percentage of small-business owners still have tocalculate and pay the AMT each year. Repealing the AMT would reduce tax complexity and create greaterpredictability for small-business owners when they file their taxes each year.INCREASE CASH ACCOUNTING

Small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer businesses.1 In 2010, there were 5.7 million small-employer businesses and 22 million non-employer small businesses.2 Small businesses have generated 63 percent of net new jobs over the past 20 years and employ about half of all private-sector employees.3

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