The 2014 legislative session just ended, but NFIB/Kansas State Director Dan Murray is already looking ahead to when lawmakers return to Topeka in January.
Here's a look at some of the challenges small businesses are expected to face in 2015:
- In the past few years, we have secured historic tax reform in Kansas, including zero income tax on non-wage income for small businesses. These changes put more money in the hands of Kansas' job creators so they can invest in their businesses and help our economy get back on track. However, the tax and spend special interests, which opposed the tax reform, are pushing hard to roll back the cuts. NFIB/Kansas will fight any attempt to roll back the tax cuts.
- In addition to sales and property taxes, some municipalities have implemented a Transportation Utility Fee (TUF) to help pay for road costs. NFIB/Kansas believes that communities should live within budget constraints and address transportation needs when the economy improves. We will continue to support efforts to ban the so-called “driveway tax” which penalizes small businesses for generating traffic and bringing consumers into a community.
- Many advocates are pushing hard to expand Medicaid, as called for in Obamacare. The fact is that Kansas simply can't afford to expand Medicaid. We don't believe Washington will continue to fund an expanded Medicaid indefinitely. When the federal money runs out, the burden will fall back on Kansans in the form of higher taxes to cover the enormous bill.
- NFIB/Kansas opposes any effort to increase the state minimum wage. Labor groups continue to fight for bills that would increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation. Like most government mandates on business, raising the minimum wage will have a deep and disproportionate impact on the small-business sector.
- Over half of the states that have a retail sales tax allow vendors to keep a portion of the sales tax collections, including Kansas’ neighbors Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma. NFIB/Kansas will continue to fight for a law that would allow small retailers to retain a percentage of tax they collect on behalf of the state. It’s only fair that small retailers be compensated for serving as the state’s tax collector.
- NFIB/Kansas will continue to oppose a bill that institutes a sales tax on professional services. This proposal directly increases the tax burden on many small professional services, such as lawyers, accountants and web designers. Further, it will increase the cost of doing business for small businesses who rely on these professional services.
- Through the recession many small businesses experienced unpredictability and volatility in the unemployment insurance (UI) system with tax rates fluctuating significantly. Many employers continue to face significant fluctuation in their rates and need a UI system that offers more predictability and stability. In addition to fighting for stability in the system, NFIB/Kansas will continue to push for reforms that ensure unemployment benefits are paid to those who truly qualify.