A new nationwide poll of small business owners’ views on taxes includes some findings that turn K Street lobbyists’ anti-tax talking points on their head. In particular, the poll found that small business owners are up in arms about corporate tax loopholes, offshore tax havens, and corporations and millionaires who don’t pay their fair share.
The nationwide scientific survey of 500 small business owners was commissioned by the Main Street Alliance, Small Business Majority, and the American Sustainable Business Council.
Here are some of the key findings from the poll (click here for the complete report and related press release):
Small business owners believe big corporations and millionaires are not paying their fair share of taxes: 67 percent believe big corporations are not paying their fair share; 58 percent believe households with annual incomes over $1 million are not paying their fair share.
Small business owners believe corporate tax loopholes and tax havens are serious problems: 90 percent say big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay; 91 percent believe when corporations shift their U.S. profits to offshore tax havens to avoid taxes, it’s a problem; 75 percent believe their small business is harmed when big corporations use loopholes.
Small business owners support tax proposals that raise revenues: 57 percent of small business owners say millionaires should pay more taxes; 51 percent of small business owners say tax cuts on annual household income over $250,000 should sunset on schedule at the end of this year; 81 percent favor eliminating big tax breaks for hedge fund managers.
As Aimee McQuilkin, owner of Betty’s Divine, an independent clothing boutique in Missoula, Montana, and leader with the Montana Small Business Alliance, put it: “When big corporations use loopholes and tax havens to avoid paying taxes, they’re robbing our country of the resources we need to invest in our future. If you want to fly the American flag outside your corporate headquarters, you should be paying your way.”
So watch out, K Street. Small business owners don’t share the views and interests of multi-national corporations and their lobbyists when it comes to taxes. And they won’t take lightly to being used as a convenient cover for advancing tax policies like extending special tax breaks for high-income households that benefit the richest 1 percent of Americans while leaving everyone else – small businesses included – to hold the bag.