The Star-Ledger

N.J. Small-Business Group To Dress 'Like Millionaires' To Show They're Not Rich

The Star-Ledger — Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Leslie Kwoh / The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — A group of small-business owners plans to gather Wednesday at Washington Park "dressed like millionaires" — in faux-fur coats, costume jewelry and top hats — to challenge the claim that small employers are among the wealthiest taxpayers.

The New Jersey Main Street Alliance, which represents 850 small businesses, said it wants to correct the misconception that extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest would also save mom-and-pop employers. The group alleges this widespread argument — which is partly based on the fact that many business owners count profit as personal income — is being used by larger businesses to protect their own interests.

"We feel the name of small business has been completely hijacked," said Stefanie Rubin, state organizer for the alliance, which is part of the consumer advocacy group NJ Citizen Action.

In recent months, President Obama's proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest citizens has sparked opposition from some business groups, who argue that small employers often fall into the top income brackets.

However, a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that 97 percent of taxpayers with business income earn less than $250,000.

About 20 small-business owners and organizers are expected to attend the hourlong event, which begins at 11 a.m.

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