Top Daines Aide Talks With NFIB Members at Annual Fly-In Event

Date: June 24, 2021

Small-business owners had a lot to say and hear at June 22-23 virtual gathering

As part of the NFIB Fly-In event agenda, Montana members talked with P.J. Austin, tax and economic policy adviser for U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, who gave them the very latest Congressional update on legislation affecting small-business survival.

Of particular interest to members is the fate of the Small Business Tax Deduction (§199A), which some in Congress want to limit. “We were encouraged it wasn’t in the [Biden] administration’s Green Book,” said Austin. The Green Book is a more detailed document of a president’s proposals. “Can we trust that … it will not be part of any final package?” The answer to that question, put before U.S. Treasury Sect. Janet Yellen and congressional leaders, elicited uncertain responses.

Austin said protecting small business is one of Senator Daines’ highest priorities. “Removing it [the Small Business Tax Deduction] would cause a lot of small businesses to fail,” and his boss is determined to put up a fight.

Before taking questions from Montana members, Austin discussed other matters too, including eliminating the extra $300 a week the federal government ladles on top of state unemployment benefits, which many attribute to the difficulty small-business owners are having in finding employees. “The hope is this will sort itself out in the next few months,” said Austin. The extra $300 is scheduled to end around Labor Day. Half the nation’s governors, including Gov. Greg Gianforte, who was the first, have already ordered it eliminated.

NFIB would not allow a pandemic to deter America’s No. 1 job-creators from having their say with top Congressional leaders, so it conducted its annual Fly-In event virtually. The timing was never more vital.

More than 1,000 NFIB members from around the nation were apprised of the latest actions on legislation that regrettably portend higher taxes and more regulations through proposals such as:

  • American Jobs Plan
  • American Families Plan
  • The Pro Act
  • The Raise the Wage Act

Attending small-business owners were also encouraged to get in direct touch with their representatives and senators who are right now considering new tax proposals and further burdensome regulations, including:

  • Increasing the corporate (C-corp) tax rate from 21% to 28%
  • Increasing the top income tax rate on passthrough businesses from 37% to 39.6%, broadening the reach of the tax, and limiting the Small Business Deduction (§199A)
  • Increasing Taxes at Death:
    • Repealing stepped-up basis
    • Taxing capital gains at death rather than point of sale
    • Increasing the top capital gains tax rate from 23.8% to 43.4%
  • Enacting the Healthy Families Act, which mandates employer paid sick leave
  • Creating a government-run paid family and medical leave program
  • Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Automatically extending and expanding unemployment insurance payments

This 11-slide PowerPoint presentation provides a little more detail on the bullets above. You can also click these single pages of information on proposed tax increases and new regulations.

“Members of Congress do respond,” said U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, the Virtual Fly-In’s first-day guest, “do not give up. Your voice matters.” Louisiana U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy agreed, suggesting inviting elected officials to “come to you” and if they take you up on it, make sure to invite your employees. “If they see employees, then they’ll listen. Get the talkative ones up front.”

One of the many benefits of NFIB membership is the opportunities your association presents to hear directly from and talk directly to the top policymakers and agency officials making the decisions affecting your ability to own, operate, and grow your business. In addition to this annual event, check your email or your NFIB state webpage for other events such as Small Business Day at the Capitol and member meetings throughout the state.


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