People in California dream big, but there are still too many inhibitors and roadblocks that make it difficult, if not all out discouraging and impossible, to get a business started, let alone fully operational. What will our leaders do to break down the barriers of just getting a business started? The minimum franchise tax, which new and existing small employers must pay before they even get their business started, is $800, the highest in the nation. Legislation by Democrats and Republicans alike have been attempted to lower this to at least a more reasonable level, only to meet its demise in committee. And, to make matters worse, while millions of small business owners pay this start-up and recurring fee, many claim they have no clue where or how this money is directed once it’s sent to Sacramento.

What are local officials doing to reduce the massive level of permits, requirements, paperwork and “drive by” shakedown inspections that instill fear versus encouragement in our local job and economy drivers? Why must reasonable, realistic regulatory reform like AB 12 by Assemblyman Ken Cooley (Rancho Cordova), which would require greater scrutiny to every new proposed state regulation, be stalled in committee? Small businesses pay 38 percent more to comply with regulations and costs than larger businesses, and yet small businesses make up 99.2% of all businesses and job creators in California.

Small businesses pay three times more in tax compliance than larger corporations, and California has the highest statewide sales tax in the nation (as well as the highest income tax and minimum wage – both small business focused), and yet we see legislation like SB 1445 (Hertzberg) that would extend the already highest sales tax beyond just goods and products to most service industries.

Our candidates need to tell us more than the usual line that “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy”; they need to demonstrate their own backbone by giving specifics about how they’ll help our young dreamers open the door and get through the door of their dreams for entrepreneurial success.