St. Albans Member Writes: Make the Small Business Deduction Permanent

Date: May 23, 2024

West Virginia small business owners would see a big increase in taxes if the deduction is allowed to expire

The Charleston Gazette-Mail today published a column by Michael Ervin, founder of Coal River Coffee Co., an NFIB member business in St. Albans.

In the column, Ervin recounts his trip to Washington last month to testify before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee about why Congress should vote to make the 20 percent Small Business Deduction permanent.

Read his column below:

Michael Ervin: Congress needs to help small businesses

Is Washington going to hamstring my small business? Worse, will it give big business an unfair advantage over us?

I posed these questions to Congress when I testified before the House Ways and Means Committee last month. As the founder of Coal River Coffee Co., in St. Albans, I’d been asked to speak about the small- business deduction, which will disappear at the end of next year. My message to lawmakers was clear: Main Street mainstays like mine desperately need Congress to make this tax cut permanent.

My small business is living proof that the tax deduction works wonders and is key to economic revitalization. Congress passed it in December 2017, and it gave my wife and me the confidence to start our own business. We’d been roasting coffee in our garage for a few years, but, in 2018, we took the plunge and opened our cafe. We wanted to be part of the comeback in our beloved hometown.

The small-business deduction made it possible. It lets us deduct 20% of our business income, which helps us compete with big businesses. Thanks to these savings, we’ve grown over the past six years. Today, we have not one but three permanent locations, as well as a mobile shop. We’ve also been able to raise our workers’ wages while investing in new equipment to stay competitive.

But all our progress could soon melt away, and all future growth could be off the table. The moment the small-business deduction expires, we’ll face a massive tax increase that we can’t afford. And we’ll be at a huge disadvantage with big businesses.

With the deduction, we can compete with big chains like Starbucks and Tim Hortons. They pay a corporate tax rate of just 21%.

How can we possibly keep up when big business has such a big advantage? There’s a Tim Hortons just down the street. It will find it far easier to give raises and hire workers. But we’ll find it harder.

Small businesses are the engine of the economy. We should be revved, not idled, much less thrown into reverse.

We don’t want special treatment. We just don’t want to be disadvantaged. In other words, we want basic fairness. And we want it now.

While lawmakers may think that the small-business deduction’s expiration in 2025 is a world away, for small businesses, it’s basically tomorrow. We have to make long-term plans and decisions today, and, every day that there’s uncertainty, we’re more likely to make unfortunate choices.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We want to keep hiring workers, building our business and revitalizing our community. Towns like St. Albans need small businesses like ours. Now, we need Congress to get our back. The sooner Washington makes the small-business deduction permanent, the sooner we’ll make a permanent difference in our hometown.


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