• John Ley

Suspend the B&O tax to help small businesses

When Governor Inslee shut down our state’s economy with his “stay home, stay safe” order, he imposed an unbelievable burden on small business owners. They’re the job creators who have invested years of blood, sweat and tears to create their businesses, and to get and keep them viable.

Today we have well over 1.6 million Washington citizens unemployed. Tens of thousands of small businesses have been shuttered; many may not come back. But we must make it as easy as possible for them to be revived. We need their success. We need the jobs and the economic prosperity they provide for so many of our fellow citizens.

Our state taxes businesses on every single dollar they take in at the cash register. The Business and Occupation tax is not a ‘net profit” tax. It’s an anchor around the necks of small business owners. It’s one more bill they are required to pay, before they pay themselves or their employees or their suppliers.

A temporary suspension of the B&O tax would make it easier for small business owners to reopen their doors. It will make it easier for them to rehire workers. It will make it easier for them to buy supplies and materials so they can then serve their customers.

As citizens go back to work, they come off unemployment rolls. They also begin purchasing more goods and services from our small businesses. That generates sales taxes – an increase in sales tax revenues to the cities, counties, and the state.

To summarize – cutting the B&O tax would help job creators – our small businesses. The rehiring of workers reduces people on unemployment, slowing the drain on our unemployment system. The people going back to work feel more confident about our economy and resume spending some money at other businesses. That generates sales tax revenues which helps cities, counties, and the state financially.

While this is not a complete solution, it’s one part of a broader effort to help our job creators – small business.


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