The Washington Post

Competing small business tax cut plans: House Republicans vs. Senate Democrats


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), right, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said they plan to introduce their 10 percent tax-cut proposal in the next few weeks. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Senate plans to introduce its bill in the coming weeks, but here’s what we already know about both proposals:

House bill

Sponsor: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

Proposed tax cut: 20 percent, capped at 50 percent of employee wages

For who: Businesses with fewer than 500 employees (22 million firms)

Total tax savings/cost to the government: $46 billion

The fine print: The Republican bill would extend a tax cut to any company that falls underneath the employee cap, regardless of industry, revenue or business structure. Critics have complained that those parameters would give tax relief to high-wealth firms like hedge funds and professional sports teams, but Rep. Cantor argues the bill hits “right to the heart of job creation” by allowing all small employers to retain more capital with which to hire and grow their firms.

Senate bill

Sponsors: Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Proposed tax cut: 10 percent, capped at $500,000

For who: Businesses that expand their payrolls by adding employees or increasing wages

Total tax savings/cost to the government: $26 billion

The fine print: The Senate bill places no restrictions on the size or type of company that qualifies for the tax relief, but by capping the credit at $500,000, the impact would be felt much more heavily by small companies than large corporations, according to a spokesperson for Sen. Schumer. The bill would also temporarily renew bonus depreciation for small employers, allowing them to write off equipment investments this year rather than over the course of several years.

Which proposal would work best for small businesses? Share your take in the comments below.

Follow On Small Business and J.D. Harrison .

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.

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