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Washington Watch - June 20, 2012


High Gas Prices Still Hurting Self-Employed Business Owners 

With gas and energy prices hitting highs in the past few months, the self-employed are cutting back their business activity, according to the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). Results from a survey of more than 500 NASE members reveal that fifty-three percent said the rise in prices has moderately or significantly hurt their business. 

“High gas prices are still hurting the self-employed, many of whom depend on their vehicles to conduct the day-to-day work of their businesses,” said NASE President Kristie L. Arslan. “What the self-employed and micro-businesses (10 or fewer employees) truly need is a retroactive update to the Internal Revenue Service’s 2012 mileage deduction. This action would better reflect the high cost of gasoline in the beginning of 2012.”

Three-quarters of the self-employed use their vehicle both for business and personal use. In fact, almost half of respondents said they spent over $250 on gasoline for their vehicles in a month, the largest answer possible to choose in the survey. Nearly 70% said that the cost of gas changes their driving behavior. 

Read more about the survey here


Over the Tax Cliff?

The looming expiration of key individual tax rates has many NASE members concerned as to how a tax increase could impact their business planning for 2013 and their individual tax rate. In fact, many analysts believe the continued sluggish economic recovery can be tied to the tax uncertainty faced by all Americans, especially the self-employed and micro-business owners. The complexity of the situation is compounded by the 2012 presidential election, which makes the situation inherently political.  

What is NASE doing to solve the problem? First, the NASE is on record strongly encouraging our lawmakers to ensure that the individual rate does not increase at the conclusion of the 2012 calendar year.  Additionally, the NASE government affairs team argues that any discussion regarding comprehensive tax reform cannot be limited to corporate tax reform, but must be inclusive of individual tax reform.  Seeing as though the self-employed community is the largest business sector in the United States, it would be foolish and short-sided for congressional leaders to attempt to stimulate the economy through tax policy without ensuring the self-employed are a significant portion of the debate.  

We believe lawmakers on Capitol Hill must be visionary in their proposal to address comprehensive tax reform and we at the NASE are here to make sure your voice is heard.  Do you have thoughts on tax reform?  We would love to hear from you, please contact NASE Director of Government Affairs, Katie Vlietstra, with your thoughts and proposals at advocacy@nase.org. 


Senate Calls For More SBA Funding In 2013

The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed a bill that would provide $1.1 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA). It now must be approved by the full Senate. 

The bill included nearly $334 million for SBA’s two largest loan programs – 7(a) for general business loans, and 504 for fixed assets – to leverage $22 billion in long-term loans to small businesses.

Read more in the press release here.


Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.

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