With so many bad policy proposals on the table, it’s hard to narrow down the most egregious, but as our team continues to read through the thousands of pages of legislative text coming out, we are finding more and more to oppose.
Here’s a look at a few of the currently pending proposals, amongst a host of others AMAC Action is currently pushing back against.
1. Snooping on your bank account information. The House Democrats’ pending legislation calls for a sweeping new bank reporting requirements, which will put millions of Americans’ information in the hands of the government. Democrats proposed requiring that banks report all transactions as low as $600 per account. Senate Republicans, with the full support of AMAC Action, recently sent a letter which urges Leader Schumer to drop the proposal completely. It reads in part: “…although the Biden administration has claimed that the new reporting proposal would not lead to increases in audit rates for those with incomes of under $400,000, it has not provided any plausible reason to believe that assertion. On the contrary, past experience indicates the brunt of costs imposed on taxpayers would fall on low and middle-income households and businesses with well below $400,000 in income, not “billionaires” and “tax cheats” as the administration’s political messaging suggests.” Read the full letter here: https://m.box.com/shared_item/https%3A%2F%2Fsenatorkevincramer.box.com%2Fs%2F6h18p5lul78jy0pd1ajjjmh4194hj4rr
2. A new double death tax on phantom capital gains. Currently, if you pass on a family business to the next generation, for tax purposes, the next generation receives what is called a “step-up in basis,” meaning the value of the property resets to market value upon its passing. For multigenerational family businesses that may have started in a garage, with one truck, with one plow, or otherwise with little “basis” and have grown significantly over the years, taxing unrealized gains at death can be a knock out punch. The value of many small businesses is tied up in land, equipment, inventory, and other illiquid assets. When Uncle Sam demands a double death tax on top of the current 40% estate tax, family businesses have no choice but to sell off land, fire workers, or sell off the businesses entirely. AMAC Action has joined over 154 other associations in calling for a repeal of the death tax and opposing capital due to gains at death. The agriculture community is also demanding the double death tax be nixed. It’s making an impact. Even moderate Democrats are now upset with their leadership about the job-killing proposal after hearing from their constituents, including AMAC Action members who hope to pass their businesses to the next generation of ownership. Top House Democratic tax-writer Rep. Neal (D-MA) recently told reporters that for now, he lacks the votes to move forward with the double death tax.
3. Subsidies and green energy tax credits, mostly for the wealthy. Electric vehicles may be the future, and that’s up for debate, but the market should decide that, not the government. The Democrats currently pending House bill gives away thousands in tax credits to the wealthy who can already afford to purchase expensive electric vehicles. Even electric bikes, curiously only if they are plugged into a government charging grid, not a personal charger, could now be subsidized by a $1000 tax credit. Is now really the right time for green new deal tax credits? Not at all. Congress should be focused on doing everything possible to help small businesses lead the country towards recovery and keep their workers employed. Instead, the House bill is full of tax breaks for the coastal elite while small businesses pay more.
4. New taxes of all kinds across the board. Besides the double death tax, the Democrats have proposed a laundry list of tax hikes that would hurt seniors and small businesses. Hikes in income tax rates, new taxes on tobacco products for millions that smoke or vape (once again breaking Biden’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes of those making under $400,000), higher taxes on businesses of all sizes, including Main Street family businesses and farms, and a pilot program to test the concept of a per-mile tax on driving, which could later be implemented fully. If you can imagine a bad idea, chances are Democrats are currently considering it. Biden and Pelosi’s far-reaching agenda is hitting major roadblocks, though, as the American people say no and Democrats scramble just to keep the government-funded.
5. Raising the debt limit. The debt limit fight is tangentially related to our efforts to sink the $3.5 trillion spending package being pushed by Speaker Pelosi in the House. Democrats hope to lure Republicans into voting to increase the debt limit at the same time when the Democratic Party controls all three branches of government. All of this while Democrats in Congress are trying to push through trillions in unneeded spending and tax hikes. Republican leadership’s message has been clear all along if you try to shove this package down the throats of the American people, don’t expect help on raising the debt limit to do so. A letter sent in early August says as much here: https://www.capito.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/08-10-2021%20DebtCeilingLetter.pdf Even still, the media is now working overtime to blame Republicans for an impending shutdown. We continue to remind our members and the media that this is a mess that the Democrats created on their own, and they should figure out how to address it before even thinking about pushing tax hikes of any kind on the American people. Republicans are right not to lend a hand in advancing these job-killing and economically destructive policies at a time when many small businesses are still struggling just to stay afloat.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action