Some of the country's biggest companies say they're willing to see taxes go up as part of a budget deal, and many of the smallest companies seem to agree with them. According to a new poll from the Small Business Majority, the overwhelming majority of small businesses believe that cutting spending for education, health care and infrastructure would hurt the economy more than an income tax increase on the wealthiest 2 percent.
The findings seem to counter the prevailing view among Republicans and industry lobbyists that higher taxes on the country's top earners would significantly harm small businesses, many of whom file their taxes as individuals rather than C-corporations. The National Federation of Independent Business, for instance, wants to extend all of the Bush tax cuts for the next year, arguing that low rates allow small business owners to "keep more of their money to reinvest in and grow their business."
The Small Business Majority points out that the respondents to its poll span the political spectrum, with a rightward tilt. "47% of respondents identified as Republican or independent-leaning Republican, 35% as Democrat or independent-leaning Democrat and 8% as independent," the group says.
But while the respondents don't think that tax rates on the wealthiest should be the biggest priority, they are extremely concerned about taxes that would target their businesses more directly. The poll shows that 76 percent of small businesses are concerned about the expiration of the 2 percent cut in payroll taxes, and 81 percent are worried about the reduction in investments that small businesses can expense—a more obscure tax provision that's also slated to expire on Dec. 31.