The 2016 Presidential Election is only a few weeks away, and it will be one of the more divisive political contests in recent history. Given that small business is a key pillar of the economy, all of the parties are focused on the topic, and each candidate has sounded off on their plans to boost small businesses and allow them to thrive.
Below is a rundown of the platforms each candidate has presented on small business.
Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton recently released her plan for boosting small businesses. Key elements of it include:
- Simplifying taxes and creating new breaks, by creating a standard deduction for small business owners much like the one that individuals can claim. This would apply to people who run businesses out of their homes, operate local shops or sell their products exclusively on sites like eBay and Etsy.
- Increasing tax write-offs for small businesses from $500,000 to $1 million
- Making it easier for businesses with fewer than 50 employees to qualify for the health care tax credit that companies can take if they provide health insurance to their workers
- Quadrupling the tax deduction that new small businesses can take for their start-up costs, increasing it from $5,000 to $20,000
- Incentivizing states and localities to make getting a professional license faster and cheaper, and standardizing licensing requirements across states and make it easier for very mobile populations — like military spouses — to get up and running in a licensed occupation when they move to a new state
- Increasing the ease of financing new start-ups by streamlining regulations on community banks and credits unions, letting small business entrepreneurs defer student loan payments interest-free while they’re getting their business started; and expanding SBA financing programs
- Expanding the Affordable Care Act
Earlier this summer, Republican nominee Donald Trump presented the following plan for small business:
- Potentially raising the minimum wage
- Consolidating the current corporate tax bracket system from seven tax brackets to three, with tax rates of 12%, 25%, and 35%
- Cutting the federal tax on profits for C-corps from 35% to 15%
- Decreasing capital gains taxes to a maximum rate of 20%
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a new system that would include a clause making health insurance costs tax deductible, as well as allow people to buy healthcare across state lines
Since then, his campaign has not given a final response about whether or not the candidate’s plan would tax small businesses, partnerships and other “passthrough” entities at the same 15% rate as larger corporations, or require smaller businesses and partnerships to keep paying individual income taxes at rates up to 33%.
Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson has promised the following in his campaign:
- Eliminating income tax and corporate tax and abolishing the IRS, replacing them with one federal consumption tax
- Advocating the FairTax, a proposal currently in front of Congress that puts a flat 23% tax on new goods and services
- Raising the retirement age, implementing means testing and allowing social security beneficiaries to self-direct funds, including passing money onto their heirs
- Delegating Medicaid and Medicare entirely to the states without federal involvement
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a free market for health care that would not entail health insurance for ongoing care but instead only for catastrophic events and illness, offering Americans a pay-as-you go system
- Potentially repealing the minimum wage, energy regulation, and other government controls on trade and the economy
- Signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and strongly endorsing all free trade
No matter your political position, it’s important to stay informed on the policies that will affect your small business, so that come Election Day, you can make the right choice for you.