NSBA announces top 10 priority issues for 2009

NSBA Announces Top 10 Priority Issues for 2009

Washington, D.C., Feb. 24 — NSBA today unveiled the top 10 small-business priorities for 2009, with health care reform taking top billing. Following the biennial Small Business Congress which featured expert speakers and the release of new data from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, NSBA’s members voted on a host of important issues facing the small-business community and narrowed it down to a list of 10 key issues for Congress and the Obama administration to address.

“Given the current state of the U.S. economy, the fact that our members voted health care reform their number one priority ought to send a strong message to Congress,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president. “Health care reform can not wait yet another year.”

NSBA 2009 Top Priorities
1) Broad Health Care Reform
2) Fair Labor Practices in the Workplace
3) SBIR Reauthorization, Expansion, and Strengthening
4) Mandatory Employee Leave
5) Access to Capital
6) Alternative Minimum Tax
7) Credit-Card Reform
8) Energy Policy
9) Estate Tax Reform
10) Self-Employment Tax on Health Care

The priorities identified by NSBA members will shape how the organization works with Congress and the Obama administration on issues of critical importance to the small-business community. Small businesses face unique challenges that put them at a disadvantage not only among their industry competitors, but globally. The 2009 priorities reflect the need to diminish the competitive disadvantages small businesses face and enable entrepreneurs to do what they do best: create jobs and grow the economy.

The complete priority issue statements are as follows:

1) Broad Health Care Reform
NSBA supports a broad reform of the health care system that will reduce health care costs while improving quality, bring about a fair sharing of health care costs, and focus on the empowerment and responsibility of individual health care consumers.

2) Fair Labor Practices in the Workplace
NSBA opposes measures that would have a significant, negative impact on the employer-employee relationships in small businesses. The heavy-handed push by organized labor to increase union memberships through legislation stands to eliminate democracy and equality in the workplace.

3) SBIR Reauthorization, Expansion and Strengthening
NSBA supports policies that build upon the successes of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program during its reauthorization process, strengthen the program and increase the percentage of agencies’ research and development funds reserved for small businesses.

4) Mandatory Employee Leave
NSBA opposes any move that would hinder an entrepreneur’s ability to create jobs. Forcing small employers to provide paid or unpaid leave could limit the employer’s ability to provide benefits and incentives, stifle job growth and exacerbate the economic downturn.

5) Access to Capital
NSBA  advocates for policies that would increase small-business access to capital, including improved start-up financing opportunities, a fully-funded 7(a) program, debt versus equity financing, and international trade financing assistance. Additionally, NSBA is committed to exploring ways in which legislative and regulatory obstacles to entrepreneurial funding can be razed and innovative lending solutions can be improved.

6) Alternative Minimum Tax
NSBA urges full repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), or alternatively, supports changes to lessen the impact on middle-income taxpayers. Because many small businesses are pass-through entities, their business income is reported as personal income, subjecting increasing numbers of small-business owners to this complex tax.

7) Credit-Card Reform
NSBA urges broad reform of the credit-card industry and the re-imposition of the basic tenets of free-market capitalism including the recognition of the sanctity and insolubility of contracts, actual competition and informed consumers through improved disclosure. NSBA is committed to ensuring that the rules governing the credit-card industry no longer allow the exploitation of the small-business community, nearly half of which relies on credit cards as a primary source of financing.

8) Energy Policy
NSBA is committed to representing the interests of America’s small businesses and supports policies that will enable small businesses to reduce their energy consumption through increased efficiency; ensure small-business participation in the new economy; and address inequitable energy costs.

9) Estate Tax Reform
While urging full repeal of the estate tax, NSBA members have agreed to a five-point compromise plan that would permanently repeal the estate tax on small and family-owned businesses-including farms. Such compromise would have a $7.5 million exemption, with a tax rate of 15% (tied to capital gains), fully indexed for inflation and calculations would include a step-up in basis.

10) Self-Employment Tax on Health Care
NSBA supports closing the tax loophole which prohibits self-employed individuals from fully deducting the cost of their health insurance premiums, resulting in an additional 15.3 percent tax that no other individual must pay. This simple correction in the tax code would make health insurance more affordable for more than 21 million self-employed individuals.rges full repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), or alternatively, supports changes to lessen the impact on middle-income taxpayers. Because many small businesses are pass-through entities, their business income is reported as personal income, subjecting increasing numbers of small-business owners to this complex tax.

 

 

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