According to a new survey from the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, and Small Business Majority, a substantial percentage of small business owners believe that large corporations and wealthy Americans are not contributing their fair share of the tax burden. This directly counters the belief of many that all businesses adamantly oppose raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Rather, many small business owners instead support recent propositions to raise tax rates on top income-earners.

Within this national poll of 500 small businesses, the numbers are quite clear, with an overwhelming 90% saying big corporations use loopholes to avoid paying taxes that small businesses have to pay, and 92% claiming that this is a problem. (And there are similar numbers posted concerning multinational corporations tactics, such as moving U.S. profits to offshore subsidiaries to avoid.) Even more revealing is the fact that 75% of respondents agree that the practice of big corporations avoiding taxes harms small businesses, with over 33% seeing this as a significant problem.

Many small business owners (58%) who participated in this poll felt similarly concerning the wealthiest Americans (those with $1M+ in annual income). When it comes to carried interest loopholes, 81% disapprove of this practice and believe it should be paid at the normal income tax rate. And not surprisingly, 51% support Congress allowing current tax cuts on taxable household income of over $250K a year expire (as they are set to do on December 31, 2012), with only 40% supporting an extension of those cuts.

Given the major role that current politics play in this debate, it’s interesting to note that 50% of the business owners who participated in this poll identified as Republican, 32% as Democrat, and 15% as independents with no party preferences.


American Sustainable Business Council, et al. “National Opinion Poll: Small Business Owners’ Views on Taxes and How to Level the Playing Field with Big Business.” 2/6/12

Chun, Janean. “Small Businesses Believe Wealthy and Big Corporations Not Paying Their Fair Share of Taxes.” The Huffington Post. 2/6/12

Sherter, Alain. “Many Small Business Owners Favor ‘Buffett Rule.’” 2/8/12

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