OPINION: Manchin, Capito Urged to Stand Up for WV Small Businesses and Support the Main Street Tax Certainty Act

Date: September 14, 2023

I own my own business, The Town’s Inn, a historic inn in Harpers Ferry. Our business has been strong these past few years despite inflationary pressures and uncertainty over the direction of the economy, but I’m worried about what could happen if Congress doesn’t support the Main Street Tax Certainty Act.

If passed, the measure would make the 20 percent Small Business Deduction permanent. The deduction was established in 2017 to bring tax rates for small business owners like me closer to the rates paid by big corporations. It lets small businesses deduct as much as 20 percent of their qualified business income. That’s money my family business has used to pay staff and maintain our historic property.

But it wasn’t a permanent fix.

Unless Congress acts, it will expire at the end of 2025. If that happens, the majority of West Virginia’s small businesses will be hit with a devastating tax increase in 2026.

My inn consists of two buildings, The Mountain House, built around 1820, and the Heritage House, built around 1840. These buildings require a lot of maintenance, repairs, and improvements, and losing the 20 percent small business deduction would amount to a 20 percent tax increase, and that would take away money I need to invest in the property.

It also would affect my ability to hire staff and offer a competitive wage. Without the 20 percent Small Business Deduction, I might not be able to hire as many people, and some of the people who don’t get hired could end up applying for unemployment and other government benefits. Asking me to pay higher taxes so the government could spend the money to provide unemployment doesn’t make sense. I believe my community would be better off if I could retain that revenue to hire employees directly and pay payroll taxes directly.

I am deeply grateful to Senators Manchin and Capito for everything they’ve done to support small businesses like mine and urge them and other members of Congress to support the Main Street Tax Certainty Act.


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