While the legislature is in session, the National Federation
of Independent Business/California will be profiling anti-small business bills
and the adverse effect they would have on California’s job creators. This is the second column of the 2011 series.
Taxes, taxes, we all scream for
taxes…oh wait, that isn’t right. That
may be the mantra under the Capitol Dome, but from the small business community
and majority of California voters, the resounding cry is "Enough is enough!"
It seems every time we turn
around, there are more taxes being proposed in Sacramento. But now, the tax-and-spend legislators have
gone one step further – they are proposing legislation that would expand the
taxing authority of all 58 counties in California. It isn’t enough that the California State
Legislature has the ability to increase taxes; now they want to give their
friends at the local level the power to do the same.
Senate Bill 653 (Steinberg) gives
counties the authority to impose new personal income, car, gas and energy taxes
– atop what Californians are already paying at the state level.
SB 653 would be a disaster for small businesses throughout
the state. The equation is simple: when
taxes go up, sales go down. California
small businesses – fighting to stay afloat in this recession – would find
themselves weighted down with new taxes that impact item after item after item.
Along with driving down sales, SB 653 would add yet another
level of bureaucracy, record-keeping and government guidelines for the small
businessperson to contend with. Collecting different state and local taxes on
some items while others are taxed by one entity but not others would be yet
another example of how difficult it is run a successful business in this state.
As it stands, the average cost of paperwork and reporting for small businesses
in California and the United States is $48.72 per hour, or close to $400 a day,
or about $2,000 a week.
Instead of giving local elected officials the opportunity to
raise their constituents’ taxes even higher, why isn’t the state giving them
some incentives to create jobs in their communities? Streamlining the permitting and regulatory
process would also be a welcome relief.
Let’s change the reputation of California from a state that taxes
anything that exists and drives out small businesses to a state that works hard
to keep business here and regularly asks, "What can we do to help?" The result might be what saves California.