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
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.