The Good Side of the 2016 Legislative Session, According to Small Business

Date: May 03, 2016

Several harmful measures were avoided this session.

The Good Side of the 2016 Legislative Session, According to Small Business

Small
business owners dodged a few bullets.

Thanks
to some determined advocates, the Legislature didn’t pass any small business
tax hikes, paid leave mandates, or minimum wage increases during this year’s
session..

Lawmakers
debated all three of those measures, and NFIB led the charge that ultimately
defeated these harmful bills.

“We’re
fighting a battle with minimum wage and paid leave,” said former NFIB
Leadership Council Member Rep. Andrew Barkis. “Any time that government can
stay out of the way, it allows business to flourish.”

Paid
leave mandates and government-issued minimum wage increases make it difficult
for small businesses to prosper, Barkis said.

The
main purpose of this legislative session was to approve a supplemental state
budget, and some lawmakers wanted to fund it by passing burdensome tax
increases that would have harmed small business. NFIB and business advocates in
the Legislature were able to stave off these increases and approve a $191
million budget with no general tax increases, a major relief for small business
owners.

“All
avenues should be exhausted before tax increases are considered,” Barkis said.

In
addition to these victories, lawmakers established a task force to examine
local business and occupation taxes as well as business licensing processes.
The goal of the task force is to make it easier for businesses to obtain and
renew licenses as well as streamline their tax payment experience.

One disappointment on the tax front was the Legislature’s
inability to send voters a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote
to raise taxes, a measure that would have made future tax increases more
difficult. Proponents will have another crack at passing these bills during the
legislative session next year.

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