Main Street Alliance, Iowa business owners raise concerns about GOP budget

WATERLOO | The expected passage of a budget resolution in the U.S. House Thursday is largely seen as a means for Republicans to more easily move ahead with tax reform. But a group of Iowa activists had a long list of concerns about both.

Small business owners and elected officials voiced their misgivings about the budget resolution, which is expected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, and an as-yet-unreleased tax reform proposal during a conference call Wednesday organized by Main Street Alliance.

“Deep spending cuts will cause health care, education, food and housing costs to skyrocket, which will have a ripple effect on small businesses who depend on strong local economies with plenty of consumer demand and customers,” said ReShonda Young, owner of Popcorn Heaven in Waterloo.

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Nightmare on Main Street:

Iowa Small Businesses Address Federal Budget and Tax Proposals

IOWA — Ahead of the expected vote on the Budget Resolution in the US House, Iowa small business owners convened a press call today, lead by the Main Street Alliance of Iowa, to lay out the potential minefield this vote could create for small business owners, the self-employed, and farmers.

The proposed budget resolution slashes trillions from services that are vital to Iowa’s small businesses and their communities – essential services like Medicaid, Medicare, and education – in order to fund a huge tax break for the richest people and companies in the country. This imminent budget resolution is the first step to a tax overhaul that would hurt the vitality and sustainability of Main Street small businesses and communities across the country.

Though aspects of the tax plan are being touted as beneficial to small business, most notably the cut in the top pass-through tax rate, the Republican tax plan actually does very little for the vast majority of small businesses, and instead gifts huge and unnecessary tax cuts to the richest Americans.

The small business owners of Main Street Alliance of Iowa and their allies explain the impact the budget and tax plans would have on their businesses and their communities:

“Many farmers will have negative income. It’s awfully hard to give someone a tax cut with negative income. These cuts are irrelevant,” said Chris Petersen, family farmer from Clear Lake, Iowa. “There needs to be more security for small businesses and average people in the system, especially when it comes to health insurance. With Iowa’s broken health care market after Trump’s sabotage, I don’t know how I will pay for health insurance next year.”

“Our employees and most American families are not getting a fair shake under this Republican tax plan and neither are small business owners like myself,” said ReShonda Young, owner of Popcorn Heaven in Waterloo, Iowa. “These spending cuts will cause healthcare, education, food, and housing costs to skyrocket which will have a ripple effect on small businesses who depend on strong local economies with plenty of consumer demand and customers. If families are forced to pay more for vital services they will have less disposable income meaning small businesses, like Popcorn Heaven, will see a decline in customers.”

“The Republican tax plans really goes after the middle class by cutting deductions, particularly deductions for SALT and medical expenses,” said Julie Stauch, President and CEO of Julie Stauch & Associates, LLC, in West Des Moines, Iowa“When we met with Congressman Young, he said there would be no cuts to Medicaid. That’s turning out to be a lie. He’s already voted for reducing money to Medicaid and Medicare, and part of the reason we are having this call today is to get him to understand just how bad this is for the people in his district. It’s critical the middle class be made stronger – not penalized.”

“You have politicians talking about lowering the tax rate on businesses. That might sound good, but few small businesses actually pay the top tax rate right now,” said Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz. “Most of our Iowa small businesses, self-employed, and farmers are already paying on a pass-through basis that’s nowhere near the top rate applied to people who earn than $400,000 a year.”
“Under the budget that’s being proposed, Iowa’s state budget will be decimated,” said State Representative Marti Anderson. “Iowa receives 32% of its revenue from the federal government. Once that’s gone, the strain on the state budget will be even worse, which ultimately means less money for people to spend locally.

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