As the voice of small business, NFIB works to affect positive change on behalf of our members. Below is a list of recent victories by our Legal Center, Government Relations, and Political teams.
NFIB’s Legal Center Victories
Legal Center has been called one of the top-ten most influential groups to file briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court by the SCOTUSblog.
The Legal Center joined a business coalition and sued OSHA over the employee vaccine mandate issued in November 2021. In a victory, a federal appellate court issued a permanent stay of OSHA’s vaccine mandate pending further review noting that OSHA likely exceeded its statutory authority.
A federal court agreed with NFIB’s arguments and permanently enjoined the U.S. Treasury from enforcing the American Rescue Plan Act’s prohibition against states using ARPA funds to lower to taxes.
Since March, the NFIB Small Business Legal Center has been helping small businesses navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. On March 13, 2020, we launched a weekly webinar series, that at the height of the crisis averaged over 6,000 participants for each Wednesday webinar. We continue to offer webinars twice a month and respond to over 100 individual small business inquiries each week.
In 2020, the Legal Center joined with other business groups to successfully stop the AFL-CIO from forcing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue burdensome and expensive emergency workplace rules.
Participated in a U.S. Supreme Court case, where the high court agreed with NFIB’s argument and found unconstitutional the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s structure with an unchecked, single unaccountable director.
Annually files over 50 amicus briefs in federal and state courts across the country on a variety of issues that impact small business.
NFIB’s Policy Victories
Paycheck Protection Program
NFIB supported the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). NFIB delivered increased flexibility on PPP payroll requirements (reducing 75% to 60%) and timelines (extending 8 weeks to 24 weeks). NFIB successfully advocated for streamlined PPP forgiveness for loans below $150,000 and a targeted, second round of PPP.
NFIB successfully urged Congress to reverse the IRS decision prohibiting small businesses from deducting expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans, protecting small business owners from surprise tax increases and administrative burdens.
Created a 20% Small Business Deduction (Section 199A) for all businesses organized as sole proprietorships, S-Corporations, partnerships, and LLCs with taxable incomes up to $170,050 individual/$340,100 joint, for tax year 2022. Pass-through businesses with taxable income above the threshold can still benefit from the Small Business Deduction if they are employee intensive or make capital expenditures. For tax year 2021, taxable income up to $164,900 individual/$329,800 joint.
Fought to remove certain problematic provisions in the Build Back Better Act, such as: limiting the Small Business Deduction (Section 199A); expanding the estate tax’s reach and repealing stepped-up basis; increasing the top capital-gains tax rate to 25%; mandating 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; mandating employers offer retirement plans; and increasing IRS information reporting of business owners’ account inflows and outflows.
Permanently increased Section 179 small business expensing threshold to $1.08 million from $510,000, and indexed threshold to inflation.
Reduced individual tax rates for many taxpayers using the following rates: 37%, 35%, 32%, 24%, 22%, 12%, and 10%.
Increased individual Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) thresholds to apply only above $523,600 individual/$1,047,200 joint for tax year 2021. For tax year 2022, the exemption increases to $539,900 individual/$1,079,800.
Reduced and flattened the corporate tax rate to 21% and repealed the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax.
Roughly doubled standard deduction to $12,550 individual/$25,100 joint for tax year 2021. For tax year 2022, the deduction is increases to $12,950 individual/$25,900 joint.
Provided estate tax relief. The exclusion increased to $11.7 million individual/$23.4 million joint for tax year 2021. For tax year 2022, the exclusion increases to $12.06 million individual/$24.12 million joint.
Put the Brakes on Burdensome Regulations
NFIB recently prompted a deregulatory reform by the Department of Interior that benefits landowners across the country. Thanks to a request filed by the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, the federal government issued new rules that encourage private conservation without a blanket prohibition on private land use.
NFIB’s lawsuit successfully blocked EPA’s “Waters of the U.S. Rule,” which would have expanded the jurisdictional reach of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers by prohibiting landowners from developing any portion of land that is even occasionally wet without an expensive federal permit.
Litigation filed by NFIB resulted in the Labor Department rescinding the so-called “Union Walk Around Rule,” which would have allowed union representatives to accompany OSHA inspectors when inspecting non-unionized companies.
NFIB successfully blocked a paid leave sick ordinance that would have set a national precedent for labor activists. In response to NFIB’s lawsuit, a Texas court blocked the City of Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance. Local measures such as Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance would result in a patchwork of rules and regulations that create major problems for small businesses.
Repealed Harmful Provisions in Obamacare
Supported the flexible health insurance arrangement – Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) – to allow small businesses to reimburse individual market health insurance premiums and healthcare expenses for employees.
Repealed the financial penalty stemming from failure to meet the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare’s) individual mandate requirement.
Expanded the maximum length of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans from three to 12 months, and potentially up to 36 months with renewals. This is another positive step for small business owners seeking more affordable, flexible, and predictable options for themselves and their employees.
Repealed the small business health insurance tax (HIT) starting in 2021, resulting in a $500 per family reduction in health insurance premiums.
Repealed the medical device tax.
Repealed the Cadillac tax on employer-sponsored health insurance scheduled to begin in 2022.
NFIB’s Election Victories
In November of 2021, NFIB had great success in electing pro-small candidates in both New Jersey and Virginia. In New Jersey, NFIB had an 89%-win rate among NFIB NJ PAC-endorsed candidates for Governor, State Senate, and General Assembly.
In Virginia, NFIB VA PAC endorsed and won in all three statewide elections (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, & Attorney General). NFIB VA PAC also endorsed 52 candidates for House of Delegates. 87% of those candidates won their races. To top it all off, the Virginia House of Delegates flipped to a pro-small business majority.