Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire, Business Group Says

NJBIZ — Wednesday, November 10, 2010

By Martin C. Daks

An activist group was set to partner with small-business owners Wednesday to protest the possible extension of tax cuts originally instituted by President George W. Bush.

New Jersey Citizen Action and the New Jersey Main Street Alliance business group were scheduled to hold a press conference in Newark's Washington Park, near Internal Revenue Service offices, "to explain why they support allowing these cuts to expire, and how that revenue can be used to put middle-America back to work," according to a joint announcement.

"Only 3 percent of small businesses actually benefit from the Bush tax cuts," said Odette Cohen, a Willingboro pediatrician who was scheduled to speak at the press conference. "I wish I was one of them, but I'm not, even though I've been in practice for 21 years."

The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, but some business advocates have called for an extension, arguing income taxes should not be raised during a recession. President Barack Obama has indicated he might be open to extending some cuts that were aimed at middle-class taxpayers, but wants to eliminate the cuts that benefit the wealthiest Americans.

"Business owners will be dressed like millionaires" at the conference, according to Citizens Action, which said the aim is to "highlight the ludicrous conservative claim that real Main Street small businesses are part of the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans who benefit from these tax breaks."

But "higher taxes are a major concern for small-business owners," according to the National Federation of Independent Business. "Taxes consistently rank as the number-two problem facing small-business owners in NFIB's monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey."

In 2009, 80 percent of NFIB members supported the extension of "all of the individual rates," according to the Washington, D.C.-based business advocacy organization.

"Small businesses created two-thirds of the net new jobs in the last decade," according to NFIB. "With small businesses struggling to recover from the recession and unemployment near 10 percent, no small business should face a tax increase."

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