Massachusetts Small Business Owners Believe Big Busines Not Paying Fair Share of Taxes

Massachusetts Business Owners Agree With National Poll Showing Small Business Owners Believe Big Business Not Paying Fair Share of Taxes

90 percent of small business owners say big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay; majority support increasing taxes on millionaires and letting high-end tax cuts expire

** Massachusetts business owners available for comment **

Boston – Small business owners see corporate tax loopholes and accounting gimmicks used to shift U.S. profits to offshore tax havens as serious problems, according to a new independent nationwide opinion poll. Small business owners think big corporations and the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes, the poll shows. They support increasing taxes on millionaire incomes, letting high-end tax cuts expire, and closing the carried interest loophole that gives big tax breaks to hedge fund managers. 

These are among the key findings summarized below from a scientific nationwide survey of small business owners released by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority. Click here to read the report.

Massachusetts business people provided the following comments on the poll results:

“Independently owned and operated businesses like mine are the biggest job creation engines in this country,” said Susan Labandibar, President and CEO of Tech Networks of Boston. “Most of our money comes from the local community and it stays in the local community when we purchase goods and services for our business. We believe that all businesses should pay their fair share of taxes. Current laws that let large corporations take advantage of tax loopholes and shuffle money to the Cayman Islands and other tax havens put us at a competitive disadvantage.”

“Big corporate tax loopholes distort our economy and our democracy,” said Dean Cycon, Founder and CEO of Dean’s Beans Coffee Company in Orange. “I have been paying my full tax share for two decades in business, and if the Big Boys would only pay their fair share – no more, no less – we would have no trouble providing the infrastructure and public services needed by all of us to create and maintain good jobs here in Massachusetts.”

“It’s unfair that large corporations can use armies of lawyers to get tax breaks that small business cannot utilize,” said Massachusetts entrepreneur Paul Egerman, co-founder of eScription. “Large corporations should not be paying a lower tax rate than small businesses. It’s not a level playing field, it’s un-American, it’s bad for job creation, and it’s not the way capitalism works. Large corporations should pay their fair share of taxes on their profits. They should invest in their products and services, instead of investing in their legal departments.”

“My wife Elizabeth and I have been in business in Cambridge since 1974,” said Michael Kanter. “Cambridge Naturals has always had a mission of being a community store that promotes healthy consumption and a fair society. Taxes work to build strong local economies and infrastructure that we all need and use. We should all be paying our share. The giant national and multinational corporations owe it to their employees and the general public to support all this infrastructure that enables them to carry on their businesses. It is outrageous that so many corporations escape their obligations through loopholes and outright tax evasion. Tax equity is not only just, but also necessary and urgent so we can truly be a country that works for everyone.”

Leaders of national organizations releasing the poll commented:

“We need a Buffett Rule for wealthy individuals and a GE Rule for corporations,” said Scott Klinger, director of tax policy for Boston-based Business for Shared Prosperity, a national network of forward-thinking business owners and executives, and a partner in the American Sustainable Business Council. “Warren Buffett spotlighted the madness of a tax code that lets him pay a lower rate than his secretary. Likewise, U.S. multinational corporations who shift U.S. profits to offshore tax havens shouldn’t be rewarded with a tax rate below Main Street employers.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, yet they feel the playing field is tilted in big businesses’ favor and small firms are at a disadvantage when it comes to taxes and corporate loopholes,” said John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority. “Our economy needs to work for everyone. Policymakers need to listen to small businesses and level the economic playing field. If they do, we will all benefit from what small businesses can offer.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Nine out of ten small business owners say big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes that small businesses have to pay: 92 percent say big corporations’ use of such loopholes is a problem. Three-quarters of owners say their small business is harmed when loopholes allow big corporations to avoid taxes.
  • Nine out of ten small business owners say that U.S. multinational corporations’ use of accounting loopholes to shift their U.S. profits to their offshore subsidiaries to avoid taxes is a problem: 91 percent agree it is a problem, with 55 percent saying it’s a very serious problem. When asked what would do the most to create jobs, small business owners chose eliminating incentives to move jobs overseas.
  • Small business owners say big corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes: 67 percent believe big corporations pay less than their fair share. An even bigger majority, 73 percent, says multinational corporations pay less than their fair share.
  • Small business owners say millionaires pay less than their fair share in taxes: 58 percent say households whose annual income exceeds $1 million pay less than their fair share.
  • Small business owners support a higher tax rate for individuals earning more than $1 million: 57 percent agree that individuals earning more than $1 million a year should pay a higher tax rate on the income over $1 million.
  • Small business owners want to eliminate the “carried interest” loophole that gives hedge fund managers a big break on their taxes: 81 percent favor hedge fund managers paying taxes at the ordinary income tax rate, which currently tops out at 35 percent, rather than the 15 percent capital gains rate they pay now.
  • Small business owners support ending upper-income tax cuts: 51 percent say Congress should let tax cuts on taxable household income over $250,000 a year expire (only 40 percent believe they should be extended).
  • Respondents in this scientific national survey were politically diverse, with a majority Republican or independent-leaning Republican: 50 percent identified as Republican (27 percent) or independent-leaning Republican (23 percent); 32 percent as Democrat (14 percent) or independent-leaning Democratic (18 percent); and 15 percent as independent.

For more information on these poll findings, visit:
http://www.asbcouncil.org/uploads/Taxes_Poll_Report_FINAL.pdf

http://mainstreetalliance.org/5535/poll-taxes/

http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/small-business-research/downloads/020612_Taxes_Poll_Report.pdf

Poll results reported in this statement represent findings from a scientific national survey of 500 small business owners, commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority, and conducted by Lake Research Partners. The nationwide Internet survey was conducted between December 8, 2011, and January 4, 2012. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

The American Sustainable Business Council is a powerful coalition of business networks representing over 100,000 companies and 200,000 business leaders. ASBC advocates for public policies that meet the realities of the 21st century global economy. www.asbcouncil.org

The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. MSA creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies. www.mainstreetalliance.org

Small Business Majority is a national nonpartisan small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, and focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table. www.smallbusinessmajority.org

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CONTACT:
Bob Keener, bobkeener@businessforsharedprosperity.org, 617-610-6766

www.businessforsharedprosperity.org

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Our Senior Consultants are the most experienced engineers at Tech Networks, each with over 10 years of professional experience solving problems similar to those they’re helping our clients with today. No matter how large the task or difficult the problem, our Consulting Department can handle it. If our Senior Consultants don’t know the answer, they have the experience and know-how to find the answer, or engineer a custom solution for the problem at hand.

Here are some of the projects our Senior Consultants are currently working on:

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Our Consulting Department is here to serve you when your needs go beyond systems maintenance. With capabilities like these, TNB can meet all your IT needs.

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.

Collaborate Online with Microsoft Office 365

Tech Networks of Boston is partnering with Microsoft to offer Office 365, the new cloud-hosted Office application suite. In Office 365, you can edit your Word, Excel, or other Office documents through your web browser, using the familiar Microsoft Office interface. The files are fully compatible with desktop and server installations of Microsoft Office, and can be uploaded and downloaded at any time.

An important new capability of Office 365 is online collaboration, where two or more users edit the same document at the same time. If two users edit the same document, you will see your co-worker’s cursor as well as your own, and be able to edit together in a meeting or over the Internet.

Tech Networks of Boston recently hosted a webinar on Office 365. Click here to view the recorded webinar — just enter your name and click View Recording.  Ask us questions right here on the Boston Techie by posting a comment below, or call us anytime at (617) 269-0299.

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.

Meet a Boston Techie: Isa Cuba, Senior Practice Consultant

Isa Cuba, Senior Practice Consultant at TNB, has more than 13 years of direct IT experience. He has exercised his talents managing IT departments and assisting organizations in the planning, deployment and support of corporate networks.

Prior to joining TNB, Isa was a Senior Network Consultant at MIS Alliance. As the organization’s most senior engineer, he designed and implemented VMware network infrastructure from the ground up. He deployed enterprise-wide storage and networking solutions and trained internal teams on migration techniques. Isa holds multiple professional certificates and degrees in management of information systems.

At TNB, Isa serves as a CTO-level advisor for major TNB clients, is responsible for direct implementation of network infrastructure projects, and mentors other TNB consultants by providing technology training, creating policies and procedures for service delivery, and recommending new software and hardware for deployment.

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.

TNB Opposes MBTA Service Cuts, Fare Hikes

No matter how you look at it, the proposed MBTA fare hikes are bad for business. “We subsidize subway, bus and commuter rail passes for our employees,” says Susan Labandibar, President of Tech Networks. “These fare increases could cost us nearly $10,000 per year.”

Remote Services Manager Diane Tirschel has calculated her costs of commuting from Attleboro by commuter rail, with her 50% TNB subsidy. It’s about even: $197.50 per month for the train, versus $191 per month driving, with a gallon of gas costing $3.50. “I’m on the fence right now as it is,” says Tirschel. “I would like to contribute to making the environment better, but [the fare hikes] are making that hard for me.”

“Adding thousands of cars to the roads is not only environmentally irresponsible, but detrimental to economic growth in the Commonwealth,” says Labandibar. “Our subsidy has allowed several employees, including me, to avoid car ownership altogether.” But the fare hikes could change that. Cordaryll Monroe walks to the commuter rail station from his home in Ayer, but “was considering getting a car when I heard about the MBTA raising their fares.”

Seventeen years ago, when she founded Tech Networks of Boston, Susan Labandibar made sure our offices were close to transit. “These fare hikes and service cuts are undercutting a key element of our business strategy,” she says.

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.

Susan Labandibar on Entrepreneurship Panel

Suffolk University has invited Tech Networks of Boston CEO Susan Labandibar for a panel discussion on Women Making a Difference in Entrepreneurship. This panel is part of a lifelong learning program offered each year by the Sawyer Business School to feature outstanding Boston leaders from a variety of fields.

The panel will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Suffolk Law School Function Room at 120 Tremont St., Boston. The $50 cost includes lunch. Register here: suffolk.edu/execevents.

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.

Get a Grant for a Tree Planting Event

To apply for a Grow Boston Greener tree-planting grant, locate a publicly accessible area where you’d like to plant a tree and contact Southie Trees. We’ll help you fill out the application and find volunteers for planting. You don’t need 501(c)(3) status, thanks to the South Boston Neighborhood Development Association acting as fiscal agent. Street tree planting is not part of this grant. Additional information is available at bit.ly/gbggrants. Send an e mail to southietrees1@gmail.com with any questions or to get started!

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.

Know Your City’s Trees! March Contest

Where in South Boston is this tree? This tree is in the process of being cut in a lopsided manner as part of a construction project. In Massachusetts, the cutting of any shade tree on a public way requires a permit, which can only be issued after a public hearing (see Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 87, Section 3).

Tech Networks of Boston supports the preservation of mature urban trees, which make neighborhoods more pleasant, filter our air and water, and moderate temperatures.

We hope you’ll use this contest as a fun way to get to know your city’s trees!

Click here to read the full March 2012 Boston Techie newsletter.