Leave no small business behind

Brian Cassidy is the founder and CEO of Junk King in Reno Nevada.

After months of anticipation, the Senate is finally prepared to vote on its plan to address our outmoded and burdensome tax code. For Nevadans, an important part of the proposed legislation is the substantial small business tax cut.

Most small businesses are socked with individual rates that can reach as high as 40 percent. Add in state and local levies, and they can be looking at almost half their revenues going to D.C. instead of contributing to new investment.

All small businesses want to grow. And most, polling shows, are ready and willing to put tax savings into bigger paychecks, larger payrolls and expanded facilities. But the structure of the current tax code takes so much income that small businesses are dissuaded from reinvesting in their local communities.

Nevada’s own recent history tells the tale. Despite unique features of our economy, when it comes to small business, we’re typical of states across the country. Small firms make up over 40 percent of private-sector employment, and over 99 percent of all businesses in-state.

But also like many states, our economic outlook is mixed. Last year, economic growth exceeded the national rate, but so did unemployment. Coming back from the 2008 crisis took time. And as millions of Americans know, the recovery was unevenly spread.

As the owner of Junk King, I have dedicated my life to servicing my community. I’ve seen how small business underpins economic stability and growth in urban, rural and suburban areas alike. That’s as true in the Sun Belt as it is in the Rust Belt.

And right now, small businesses are getting anxious. In its new mid-year report, the National Small Business Association says expansion and planned expansion have both dropped, while four in five small business respondents counted reduced rates among their very top priorities on taxes this year.

That’s sobering news for Nevadans and Americans nationwide, who realize we’ll struggle to succeed if small businesses aren’t making gains. Majorities say individual rates are too high and small businesses are getting ripped off. Fully 80 percent want a federal tax bill this year that grows and sustains American jobs.

Any reduction in the tax burden on small business helps meet those goals. But all small businesses hit with unfair individual rates should be given the same relief. After all, they’re in the same boat—and their benefits to Main Street work the same way from Reno to Rochester.

Earlier this year, President Trump led Congress to target small businesses for an across-the-board cut from almost 40 percent tax to 25 percent. Americans are counting on their representatives to honor that objective—and the small firms we all rely on to keep America humming.