Small businesses create jobs and deliver essential goods and services in communities across Washington state and across America. The Main Street Alliance of Washington, a coalition of more than 2,000 small businesses, conducted door-to-door and telephone surveys of over 100 small business owners in 15 cities in Washington, from July to December, 2012. Among the survey’s findings:
ON WHAT SMALL BUSINESSES NEED MOST
Asked what small businesses need most to create jobs and help get the economy back on track, 73 percent said more customers, 23 percent said lower taxes and 4 percent said fewer regulations.
ON PERSONAL INCOME TAXES AND THE BUSH TAX CUTS
Responding small business owners support ending the Bush tax cuts for the top income brackets. On personal taxes, asked if Congress should end or renew tax breaks for households with incomes above $250,000 a year that are scheduled to expire at the end of the year, 88 percent of respondents supported ending these breaks, while 4 percent supported renewing them and 8 percent were undecided.
ON CORPORATE TAXES AND TAX LOOPHOLES
Responding business owners believe big corporations aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. Some 72 percent said they think big corporations pay less than their fair share of taxes. Only 3 percent said they think big corporations pay more than their fair share of taxes, and 8 percent said they think big corporations pay their fair share.
Asked if they would support or oppose closing tax loopholes to increase revenues before making further budget cuts, 87 percent of those surveyed said they would support closing tax loopholes, with 2 percent opposed and 12 percent undecided.
ON A FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX
Responding business owners support the establishment of a Wall Street speculation tax. About 59 percent of respondents said they would support a small tax, a fraction of a percent, on Wall Street trades (including stocks, bonds, and derivatives) to raise revenue and discourage financial market speculation. Two percent said they were opposed to this idea, while 39 percent were undecided.
In a release about the survey, the group quoted Tiffany Turner, owner of Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, offering her view on the tax-cut debate taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. “There are over 100 small businesses in my city of Long Beach, and there are zero that I am aware of that make over $250,000 a year,” Turner said. “It’s time to do what’s right for small businesses and the country: end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent.”