Sales Tax Holiday Legislation Good News for Small Business

John Kabateck
NFIB State Director in California

Every once in a while, a piece of legislation comes along that restores my hope in the elected bodies in Sacramento. Legislation that proves that they are indeed listening and care about our state’s number one job creators. Proof that they not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Assembly Bill 1280 by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein is one of those bills. This NFIB/CA-sponsored bill would establish a sales tax holiday for small businesses on the first Saturday following Thanksgiving, also known as Small Business Saturday, when consumers are encouraged to shop at their local mom and pop stores. To qualify, a business would have had to collect less than $200,000 in sales taxes the previous year.

Small Business Saturday started in 2010, and the campaign to shop small has yielded big dividends for America’s and California’s economy. Last November, shoppers spent $14.3 billion at locally-owned shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey conducted by event co-sponsors American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business. Adding a sales tax holiday on that Saturday would be an even biggest boost to small businesses around the state.

A sales tax holiday would send a strong message to California’s job creators that their contributions to and support of their communities is valuable. And it has the potential to encourage more entrepreneurs to open a small business – and boy, do they need it. A Brookings Institution report issued in 2014 claimed a 30-year low in American entrepreneurship. Times are still tough for our number one job creators, especially in this state, with among the highest taxes, an onerous and complex health care law, the most sweeping regulations, and scores of frivolous lawsuits in our communities.

Last summer, Gallup asked people to share how much confidence they had in a variety of American institutions. Small business came in second at 62 percent, just behind the military at 74 percent, but way ahead of big business, which had only 21 percent. A few years ago, the Pew Foundation ranked small businesses as the most trusted group in America.

A one-day sales tax holiday might not seem like a big deal, but to the local business owner who also handles compliance with tax laws and regulations (and, by the way, pays three times more than larger businesses to do so), it shows that Sacramento gets it. And that they want to help, not hurt, those who create two thirds of all new jobs.

That is why NFIB/CA is proud to so-sponsor AB 1280 and urges all in the Capitol to vote “Yes” in support of small business.

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities. Learn more at www.NFIB.com/ca.

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