Small-business owners don't think big corporations and the wealthy are paying their fair share of taxes, with nine out of 10 small-business owners saying that big corporations use loopholes to avoid the taxes small businesses have to pay, according to a nationwide survey released Monday by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority. Ninety-two percent of the small-business owners say corporations using tax loopholes, such as moving U.S. profits to offshore subsidiaries, is a problem, while three out of four say their small business is harmed when big corporations use loopholes to avoid paying taxes.
Sixty-seven percent of small-business owners believe big corporations pay less than their fair share of taxes, while 73 percent believe multinational corporations pay less than their fair share.
"I've been in business 32 years, and I'm appalled at how big corporations and millionaires have shrunk their taxes," Lew Prince, managing partner of Vintage Vinyl, an independent music store in St. Louis, Mo., said in a release from American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority. "Ingrates like Amazon wouldn't even exist without the Internet, which grew out of government research. The least that big corporations and their executives could do is pay their fair share for the roads, ports, education, research, public safety and everything else that tax dollars buy."
Most small-business owners believe not just wealthy corporations, but wealthy individuals, shirk their fair share of taxes. Fifty-eight percent said households with incomes of more than $1 million in annual income pay less than their fair share of taxes, while 57 percent said those people should pay a higher tax rate on income over $1 million.
"We need a Buffett Rule for wealthy individuals and a GE Rule for corporations," Scott Klinger, director of tax policy for Business for Shared Prosperity, a partner in the American Sustainable Business Council, said in a statement. "Warren Buffett spotlighted the madness of a tax code that lets him pay a lower rate than his secretary. Likewise, U.S. multinational corporations who shift U.S. profits offshore to avoid taxes shouldn't be rewarded with a tax rate below Main Street employers."
Also, a narrow majority of small-business owners believe Congress should let the so-called Bush tax cuts expire as scheduled on Dec, 31, 2012. Fifty-one percent believe these tax cuts on taxable income over $250,000 a year expire, while 40 percent said they should be extended.
Of the business owners surveyed, 50 percent identified themselves as Republican or independents leaning toward Republican, 32 percent as Democrats or independents leaning Democrat and 15 percent as independents not leaning toward either party.