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Polis Stands Up for Small Business

Urges Change to Small Business Tax in Health Care Bill

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Washington, July 17, 2009 | comments
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) led Democratic members of the freshman class today in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressing their extreme concerns that the proposed method of paying for health care reform in H.R. 3200, the America's Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009, will negatively impact American small businesses.

Polis’ letter is available at  

“Especially in a recession, we need to make sure not to kill the goose that will lay the golden eggs of our recovery,” said Polis in the letter.  “By concentrating the cost of health care reform in one area, and in one that will negatively affect small businesses, we are concerned that this will discourage entrepre­neurial activity.”

Under the proposed legislation, the Bush tax cuts would be allowed to expire, causing the marginal rate paid by wealthy individuals and small businesses to increase by 4.6 percent to 39.6 percent.  Further, a surcharge would tax income above $1 million at a new rate of 45 percent.  This surcharge, combined with state taxes, could result in many successful small businesses being taxed at over 50 percent.

While the Ways and Means Committee states that the proposed surcharge will only impact 4.1 percent of small businesses, the Internal Revenue Service’s 2002 Statistics of Income show that 64 percent of households filing individual tax forms with AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) above $250,000 filed as an S-Corporation or partnership or filed a Schedule C sole proprietor tax form.

The letter, signed by Polis and 20 freshman Democratic members, asks the Speaker to seek creative ways to reduce the overall need for revenue generation and to propose a more equitable way of distributing the cost of health care reform.

“I strongly support this bill, especially the inclusion of a public option, except how we plan to pay for it,” said Polis.  “With so much at stake, we must make sure that we do not defeat the purpose of reforming health care by unfairly burdening small businesses.  I look forward to working with House leadership and the White House to pass a bill that corrects this error and suits the needs of all Americans."
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