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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Look To Ease Small Business Tax Burden

Date: April 21, 2014

Effort Would Make State More Business Friendly

A group of Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature this week put forth proposals for legislation that would ease the tax burden on small businesses in the state. Lawmakers hope that by giving small businesses a break, they can help boost the economy and reduce the burden on business in general.

What Would The Proposals Do?  State Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) proposed a bill allowing small business owners to deduct net operating costs in much the same way corporate taxpayers can, insisting that such deductions would make the state “more attractive for small business.” Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) sponsored a proposal supporting regulations similar to those of the IRS, allowing for “like-kind exchanges” without taxes due at the time of the exchange. Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland), meanwhile, sought to raise limits on the amount of depreciation on large business write-offs from $25,000 to $100,000. Supporters of the legislation say that simplifying the state’s tax code and making it more fair for small businesses would allow those businesses to “focus on growing the jobs our citizens need,” according to Rep. Bloom.

The small business community has expressed support for these proposals, saying Pennsylvania’s current tax system is unfair to them and out of step with the rest of the US. In recent years, Pennsylvania has been ranked between the middle and the end of the list in terms of its friendliness to businesses, and these lawmakers hope the proposals will rectify that situation, making for a more business-friendly tax climate and stronger small businesses.

Further Reading:

The Pennsylvania Independent features a breakdown of the proposals and notes the support of Kevin Shivers, executive director of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “If we reduce the burden that these small job creators face, we believe that we will generate more tax revenue because these small businesses will be more profitable,” Shivers said. The Beaver County (PA) Times similarly notes Shivers’ observation that the proposals would help small businesses flourish. “That’s good for the Pennsylvania economy and ultimately for job growth,” he said. The Times also mentioned the NFIB pointed out that Bloom’s proposal on “like-kind exchanges” reflected policy already allowed by the Federal government and the other 49 states. The York (PA) Dispatch focused mainly on Rep. Grove’s proposal, which would, in his words, “eliminate the paperwork burden” faced by small businesses.

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