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Small businesses: Corporations aren’t paying their fair share

The following is from the Main Street Alliance of Washington:

SEATTLE (Sept. 19, 2013) — As Congress enters a season of major budget battles including the threat of a government shutdown at the end of the month, a new survey shows that Washington small business owners support closing offshore tax loopholes and requiring large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes as top priorities.

main-st-alliance-WAOn Tuesday, Main Street Alliance of Washington released a new report — Listening to Main Street: Washington Small Business Views on Corporate Tax Reform — highlighting a growing divide between Washington small business owners and corporations, detailing responding business owners’ views on corporate tax reform.

The report is based on an online survey of 210 Washington state small business owners from 42 cities across the state. Key findings include:

  • Small business owners believe large corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes. Ninety-two percent of respondents say corporations are paying less than their fair share.
  • Small business owners prioritize closing corporate tax loopholes and raising revenue for economy-boosting investments over lowering corporate tax rates: Eighty percent of respondents support closing corporate tax loopholes, and 62 percent support raising revenue for economy-boosting investments in education, infrastructure, Social Security and Medicare, while only 8 percent prioritize lowering corporate tax rates.
  • Small business owners support ending offshore tax dodging. Sixty-seven percent of respondents support ending offshore tax-haven abuse by requiring U.S. corporations to immediately pay corporate income taxes on offshore profits, with credit for foreign taxes paid, while only small fractions of small business owners support a temporary repatriation tax holiday (17 percent) or territorial tax system (4 percent) — proposals that would expand offshore tax haven use.

“If small businesses are the engine of our economy and consumer demand is the fuel, then corporate offshore tax dodging is like siphoning gas out of the tank,” said Laura Waite, owner of Jay’s Professional Automotive in Renton. “To strengthen our economy, we have to stop allowing large corporations park their profits offshore to avoid paying their fair share.”

As the nation faces the risk of a government shutdown, debt default, and a deepening of across the board budget cuts due to “sequestration,” small businesses support a Wall Street Transaction Tax to generate the resources needed for economy-boosting investments. Seventy-seven percent of respondents say they would support a small tax — a fraction of a percent — on Wall Street trading of financial instruments (stocks, bonds, and derivatives) to raise revenue and discourage financial market speculation.

“In order to grow our economy, we need investments not more budget cuts,” said Tiffany Turner, owner of Adrift Hotel in Long Beach. “Imposing a Wall Street Transaction Tax will generate much needed revenue to support our customer base.”

Small businesses create jobs and deliver essential goods and services in communities across Washington and across America. As those most responsible for job creation, small business owners are key stakeholders in tax reform. Their views will be vital for policy makers and the public to consider as the debates unfolds.

“Its time to listen to Main Street, not Wall Street,” said Chris Nearison, owner of CK Candles in Spokane. “Congress needs to level the playing field for small businesses and stop big corporations from robbing this country of the resources needed to make economy-boosting investments by hiding their profits overseas.”

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