After President Barack Obama offered a vigorous declaration in his State of the Union speech that the American economy has rebounded and that "middle-class economics" is working, small business owners said Wednesday that the president's tax plan would have little impact and that they are more concerned about the ripple effect of higher wages and additional benefits.
Obama proposed new taxes on high-income earners, but entrepreneurs said they would have preferred broader tax reform, as many small business owners file individually.
"What's most important for our members would be reduced business income tax rates, as the majority of our members pay the top rates as individual filers," said Jack Mozloom, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business. A local mom-and-pop hardware store "is paying more in taxes than the Home Depot," Mozloom said.
Small business owners also are wondering how calls for mandated sick pay and a federal minimum wage will impact their bottom lines, when many Main Street businesses are emerging from the recession. The small business optimism index recently rose 2.3 points to 100.4 in December, the highest reading since October 2006. The latest sentiment reading was released last week by the NFIB.