Small Biz Owners: Big Businesses, Millionaires Not Paying Fair Share

The American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, and Small Business Majority released a new poll yesterday gauging small business owners’ opinions on taxes. On everything from the tax rates of the wealthy to corporations' exploitation of loopholes in the tax code, small business owners from across the nation say big businesses and millionaires aren’t paying their fair share.

Nine out of ten small business owners believe large corporations use loopholes not available to small businesses to avoid paying taxes – taxes those same small businesses have to pay. A similar percentage of small business owners see the use of accounting gimmicks by U.S. multinational corporations to shift profits overseas – and thus avoid paying taxes on those profits – as a serious problem.

A majority of respondents supported policies that require the wealthy to pay more taxes. Fifty-one percent of small business owners want to see the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire at the end of the year, while 81 percent disapprove of the carried interest loophole that allows hedge fund managers to pay the capital gains tax rate on their income (currently at a modern low of 15 percent).

The survey polled only businesses with 100 employees or less. Other trade associations who claim to represent small business interests often count businesses with 500 or even 1500 employees. The poll also included a representative sample of political leanings: 50 percent of those polled identified themselves as Republicans or independents leaning Republican, 32 percent identified as Democrats or independents leaning Democratic, and 15 percent were independents without political party leanings.

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