Washington, DC – Today, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), Business for Shared Prosperity (BSP) and Main Street Alliance (MSA) called on the Senate to legislate a “Buffett Rule” by passing the Paying a Fair Share Act (S. 2230), assuring that households with incomes above $1 million don’t pay lower tax rates than middle-income taxpayers.
In a letter delivered to Senators, nine business organizations disputed claims that a Buffett Rule would negatively affect small businesses owners, the vast majority of whom are middle-class Americans with incomes under the rule’s $1 million threshold. Only 1 percent of the 34 million households reporting any business income on their tax returns earn more than $1 million annually, according to data from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.
“I could have all the South Carolina small business owners making more than $1 million a year over for a backyard barbecue and have plenty of room left over,” said Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of ASBC. “It’s time for the real millionaires club – CEOs of big corporations, hedge fund managers and corporate lobbyists – to pay their fair share.”
“When politicians who stand against a Buffett Rule for millionaires wring their hands about how it will impact small businesses, let's be clear: that's small business identity theft,” said Benjamin Markeson, owner of Three Star Flea Market in Apopka, Florida, and a leader with MSA. “They're stealing the good name of small business owners like me, who believe millionaires aren't paying their fair share of taxes, and using us as a human shield to protect the richest one percent from pitching in.”
The letter also cited national, independent polling data showing that 57 percent of small business owners support the tax increase included in the Buffett Rule. The scientific poll revealed that only one of the 500 small business owners surveyed reported an income above $1 million.
“Those who benefit most from our national expenditures on infrastructure, education and law enforcement need to pay their fair share,” said Lew Prince, owner of Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, Missouri, and a BSP leader. “I’ve been in business 33 years, and I’m appalled that my customers, who worry about scraping up enough to pay for their next tank of gas and groceries, pay higher tax rates than some oil and food executives. The Buffett Rule is the right step in bringing more fairness to the tax system and supporting the public investments and job creation we need for a healthy economy.”