Published in The Hill, June 21, 2013
Protecting the entrepreneurial dream
By Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, @KarenKerrigan
Pro-growth tax reform and simplification will encourage entrepreneurship and help make the economy more dynamic. Proposals must ensure that entrepreneurship and investment are enabled through these efforts. Certainly, the U.S. economy and our competitiveness need the positive boost.
Comprehensive tax reform requires difficult decisions and compromise, and small business owners are willing to accept significant changes for a system that is simple and pro-growth. The process and bipartisan tone established by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Sanders Levin (D-Mich.) gives small businesses hope that something can actually happen in this Congress. Thankfully, their efforts have focused a great deal on small businesses and entrepreneurs, and for good reason. The U.S. needs more startups and high-growth businesses in order to create more jobs. Job growth has been weak, and so has entrepreneurship. Although the numbers have improved somewhat, entrepreneurship dipped to its lowest level a couple of years ago. Tax reform can strengthen the comeback and sustain entrepreneurship for the long term.
Fundamental tax reform must protect small businesses and provide them with the opportunity to succeed. Proposals and reform ideas cannot mask new taxes that work against the fundamentals of capital access and entrepreneurship. And while small business owners have been the most ardent supporters of tax reform, they will quickly recognize the difference between reform efforts that are fair, and those that may do more harm than good. A new tax that targets a legitimate business expense and raises the cost of capital will be harmful.