News Release--Legislative deadlock over state income tax could be having a drag on Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska, May 9, 2017—Could the Alaska Legislature’s deadlock on whether or not to reinstitute a state income tax be holding our state’s economy back from taking advantage of the continued good news about the national rebound, which today’s release of one of America’s most important economic barometers found going on for a sixth straight month?
As it does the second Tuesday of every month, the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s Voice of Small Business, released its Index of Small Business Optimism this morning, which measures the pulse of the nation’s Main Street entrepreneurs. The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data since 1973. Today, it is the largest, longest-running archival data sets on small business in the U.S., with over four decades of insight into small business operations and outlook trends.
Results from the monthly Small Business Economic Trends (SBET) survey have been one of the nation’s bellwether economic barometers, used by the Federal Reserve, congressional leaders, presidential administrations, and state legislators and governors. A one-page history of the SBET can be read here.
“Although the Index of Small Business Optimism found the optimism of Main Street entrepreneurs still at record highs, there was an 8-point drop in expected business conditions, which was attributed to Congress’ failure to repeal and replace Obamacare the first time,” said Denny DeWitt, NFIB’s Alaska state director. “The Index does not break respondents down by state, but it clearly shows small-business owners pay keen attention to the political environment surrounding them. There is a lesson, then, for Alaska’s legislators: Decide what you’re going to do on the state income tax issue. Small-business owners are by nature and necessity extreme planners.”
NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationwide, including 2,000 in Alaska. NFIB/Alaska is opposed to reinstituting a state income tax.
“Congress and the While House must understand that small business owners are paying close attention, and they are making decisions that affect the economy based on how Washington performs,” said Juanita Duggan, president and CEO of NFIB. “The drop is expected business conditions should be a warning to Washington that health care reform, regulatory reform, and tax reform have implications far bigger than politics.”
Added William Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, “Expected business conditions is the most volatile component of the Index. Small business owners want Congress and the White House to address the high cost of health care, which has been their top concern for more than 30 years. When that effort failed in March, expectations for better business conditions collapsed.”
NOTE TO EDITORS—A 685-word editorial by Denny DeWitt on the importance of income taxes and tax rates can be found on the NFIB/Alaska web page here. You are welcome to use it as free content for your publications and websites.
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Alaska
P.O. Box 34761
Juneau, AK 99801