In Charlotte, North Carolina, mother-son duo Julie and Michael Chambers are watching their small business, Melt in Your Mouth, come to life. The cupcake store they opened more than two years ago now has four employees, and they're hoping to open up additional locations. But chief among their concerns is the tax burden they face.
Structured as an LLC, the company files taxes at the individual rate, paying some 35 cents on each dollar they make, Michael said, adding he's hoping for reform and lower rates under the new administration.
"We are in the process of trying to open up new stores, and just paying taxes on this one is taking capital away that we could be using on something else," he said. "There is no clear-cut policy on where things are going right now. Compliance is extremely expensive for us, and it disproportionately affects us as a small business."
Taxes have long ranked as a top issue for America's small businesses, many of whom file as pass-through entities, combining business and personal income and, as a result, sometimes paying a higher effective rate. In the National Federation of Independent Business' 2016 "Small Business Problems and Priorities" study, federal taxes on business income ranked as the No. 3 issue behind the cost of health insurance and unreasonable government regulations. The first-ever CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey in June found that taxes were the No. 1 issue for 25 percent of the more than 2,000 businesses surveyed.