Alaska Business Monthly: Business Leaders Encourage Senate to Try Again to Pass Buffet Rule

Alaska Business Monthly
April 2012

Majority of Small Business Owners Say Millionaires Should Pay More in Taxes

Washington, DC – The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Business for Shared Prosperity (BSP) released the following statement in response to the failure today by the U.S. Senate to secure the 60 votes needed to advance the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (S. 2230). The bill would have legislated a “Buffett Rule” assuring that households with incomes above $1 million did not pay lower tax rates than middle-income taxpayers.

  "Senators who used the filibuster to block an up or down vote on the Paying a Fair Share Act ignored the 60 percent of American voters who support a Buffett Rule tax. Professing to care about small businesses, they have ignored the 58 percent of small business owners who believe that millionaires pay less than their fair share of taxes. These filibustering senators have sent a clear message to the American people: they’d rather slash vital services that families and Main Street businesses depend on than ask America’s most prosperous citizens to pay at least as much as middle-class workers and small business owners.

  "America needs to restore a tax system that funds our nation’s needs, strengthens our shared infrastructure for success, and reflects our values of fairness. Today, the U.S. Senate squandered the chance to take an important step in that direction. We urge senators who blocked the Buffett Rule to reconsider."

In a letter delivered to Senators last week, ASBC, BSP and seven other business organizations disputed claims that a Buffett Rule would negatively affect small businesses owners, the vast majority of whom are middle-class Americans with incomes under the rule’s $1 million threshold. Only 1 percent of the 34 million households reporting any business income on their tax returns earn more than $1 million annually, according to data from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The letter also cited national, independent polling data showing that 58 percent of small business owners said households with incomes of more than $1 million a year pay less than their fair share in taxes. The scientific poll revealed that only one of the 500 small business owners surveyed reported an income above $1 million.