NFIB has taken strides to enact five reform priorities to eliminate the financial and regulatory burdens that hold small businesses back.
It’s time to take another look at taxes, healthcare, energy costs, labor and regulations.
High tax rates, tax code complexity and lack of permanency in tax policy are persistent burdens on small business. These problems limit investment, reduce cash flow, discourage startups, drain time and force extensive (and expensive) outside accounting help. NFIB is pushing for many key reforms, including lowering the individual tax rate (the rate at which most small businesses pay taxes as pass-through entities), making small business tax extenders permanent, and eliminating the estate tax and alternative minimum tax.
Many small business owners would like to offer health insurance to employees, but the ever-increasing cost makes this difficult. Furthermore, regulations and uncertainty associated with the Affordable Care Act implementation mean small business owners can’t plan long-term and have less flexibility with their options. Small businesses need healthcare reform that lowers costs, provides more choice and promotes greater competition in the insurance marketplace. To accomplish this, NFIB is actively involved in protecting small businesses from the ACA’s most egregious provisions, including the employer mandate, the 30-hour full-time threshold, the small business health insurance tax and the new essential health benefits requirements.
3. Energy Costs
High energy costs are the third-most severe problem for small business owners, and without globally competitive prices for energy supplies, owners cannot operate and effectively run their businesses. Because of this, NFIB is focused on removing barriers to build the Keystone XL Pipeline and preventing more regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
Small business owners work hard to train and retain their employees and foster a rewarding workplace environment, but most do not have a human resources department devoted to tracking workplace standards and mandates. A more simplified hiring process would free up small businesses to create more jobs.
NFIB’s priorities include rolling back troublesome National Labor Relations Board rules (like shortened time frames for union elections and treatment of franchisors and franchisees like joint employers), making the E-Verify program mandatory, preventing federal minimum wage increases, and reforming the H-2B and H-2A visa programs.
Overzealous government regulations create a tremendous burden of time and money for small business owners, and the uncertainty that hovers with the threat of future regulations makes planning difficult. NFIB seeks reform that clarifies the indirect costs of regulation, increases small business input in the regulation process, reduces penalties and fines, and devotes more resources to compliance assistance. NFIB is also closely monitoring final decisions and proposals for several key regulations expected in 2015, including the definition of U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act, greenhouse gas emission rules for new and existing power plants, and expansion of overtime eligibility.