NFIB's Duggan: Overtime Rule Victory; Tax Reform Tops Priority List

Date: September 07, 2017

Dear NFIB Member:

Marking a win for small business, a federal judge last week overturned the controversial Department of Labor overtime rule, which many of you told us would devastate your business. NFIB led a coalition of business groups in a lawsuit against the regulation. Following the ruling, the Department of Justice asked the court to dismiss its appeal of the decision, which means the overtime rule as written by the Obama Administration is dead. Future developments on the issue are possible, but last week’s news represents a victory for NFIB members and small businesses everywhere.

Congress returned this week from its summer recess to a crowded calendar. By the end of September, it must pass a financing mechanism to avoid a government shutdown. The clock is ticking on tax reform as well, something the White House and Republican leaders say they want to pass this year.

Tax reform is NFIB’s top priority. Five of the top 15 concerns for small business owners are related to taxes, according to the NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities Survey. The U.S. Tax Code puts small businesses at a disadvantage; they often pay a higher top rate than large corporations. The disparity drains resources and erodes profitability. The code is also complicated, forcing businesses to spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars annually just to comply.

NFIB has made it clear to congressional leaders that tax reform cannot wait until next year and that it must reflect several principles:

  • Tax reform should treat small businesses fairly. It should not favor large corporations over small businesses.
  • Tax reform must cut taxes for small businesses. Reducing the top rate isn’t enough. The rates should be graduated so that the smallest businesses can keep more of their money.
  • Tax reform must simplify the tax code. The complexity of the tax code has the same effect as a tax increase. It forces small firms to divert resources that would be reinvested in growth, new jobs, and new capital improvements.

Over the next few weeks, our team in Washington will push to remind members of Congress that tax reform starts with small business. We will also be active in the states, encouraging you to contact your elected representatives and let them know that tax reform for small business must be their top priority.

Finally, our thoughts remain with those of you affected by Hurricane Harvey. The recovery will be long and difficult for thousands of small business owners there. With Hurricane Irma approaching, we’re also aware that those of you in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas will likely be affected. NFIB has aggregated a list of small business resources for both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

As always, thank you for your membership. Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff in Washington or your local NFIB office with any questions or concerns. You can keep up with the latest developments here at


Juanita Duggan, NFIB President and CEO  

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