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Washington Watch - May 16, 2012


Why S. 2050, H.R. 880, And H.R. 4032, Are Important To The Self-Employed

The NASE is encouraging its members to contact their Senators and urge support of S. 2050, Small Business Tax Extenders Act of 2012, introduced by Ranking Member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.) of the Senate Small Business Committee. The bill has received bipartisan support by Senators Brown (R-Mass.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Mikulski (D-Md.), all who have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation. S. 2050 extends key provisions of the small business bill that was signed into law by President Obama on September 27, 2010. The original bill provided key tax deductions for the self-employed, specifically, the ability to deduct health insurance and start-up expenses for the 2010 tax year. 

The self-employed encounter several significant inequities as it pertains to the current tax code, perhaps the largest is the inability to deduct the cost of health insurance as a business expense, resulting in the self-employed paying on average 15% more in individual taxes. In 2010, the self-employed benefitted from a tax savings ranging from $456-$968, a significant amount. Congressional support for amending the IRS tax code to allow for the self-employed to deduct their health insurance is popular and receives bipartisan support. In the House, Congressman Wally Herger (R-Calif.) introduced, H.R. 880, Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act of 2011, which has received wide, bipartisan support and would make permanent the deduction.  

The extension of the deduction for start-up expenses is another popular provision. Like the health insurance deduction, the start-up deduction is extended in S. 2050, but receives a permanent deduction in the bipartisan, H.R. 4032, Help Entrepreneurs Create American Jobs Act of 2012, introduced by Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and strongly supported by a bipartisan group of his 27 colleagues.  

The self-employed community is well served by the introduction of these three bills; however, continued calls for enactment must reach the ears of the elected members of both chambers. The NASE believes strongly that lawmakers must come together and address these tax bills and signal to the self-employed community that they understand the biggest segment of the business population is the self-employed. The NASE also wants Congress to indicate that the self-employed will be treated fairly by the tax code, in order to encourage growth in our economy. 

Please call your elected officials in the Senate and encourage them to support S. 2050 and in the House, H.R. 880 and H.R. 4032. You can identify your Member of Congress through the NASE’s Legislative Action Center


Running On Empty: The Effects Of High Gasoline Prices On Small Businesses

The Committee on Small Business conducted a hearing titled, "Running on Empty: The Effects of High Gasoline Prices on Small Businesses." The hearing was held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Persistently high gasoline prices are draining family budgets and putting increased stress on small businesses. According to a recent survey by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, 72 percent of small businesses report they are affected by high energy prices. Of these businesses, 41 percent report that they have altered hiring plans and another 22% report reducing employee hours. Small businesses are the historic source of new job creation in the economy, but are currently facing many challenges, including the burden of high fuel prices, that inhibit their ability to invest, grow and hire new workers. The hearing studied the relationship between high gasoline prices and small businesses.

Read opening statements and witness testimony from the hearing here


Small Business Data And Statistics

The Small Business Administration houses the Office of Advocacy, an independent office tasked with watching out for the interests of small business in the federal legislative process. The NASE often works with the Office of Advocacy to bring to the attention of lawmakers federal regulations that hurt or hinder small business growth. The association also relies on some of the small business statistics that Advocacy complies. 

To read through some of the data on the self-employed, click on the link for Nonemployers 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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