Client News

TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT: Regulations crush small businesses

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

As we move into the heart of the political season, the need to bolster small businesses in America has been front and center in just about every candidate’s message. And while all this attention is encouraging, the need for immediate action is imperative.

That’s why this month I am traveling to Washington, with a dozen other Florida small-business owners, to address the burdens that complex tax codes and regulations put on Florida’s independent business community.

Keeping up with increasingly complicated taxes and regulations requires valuable time and resources, which cuts into profits and productivity. Each year, small businesses around the nation spend about 2 billion hours on tax compliance, at a cost of up to $19 billion. That’s not the taxes they pay — it’s the paperwork preparing them.

Health-care costs are just as burdensome. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the $87 billion health insurance tax included in the Affordable Health Care Act will result in up to a quarter of a million jobs being lost by 2021. Nearly 60 percent of those jobs will come from small businesses. Additionally, early this year the Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of the president’s plan. Until the court’s decision is issued later this year, Florida’s small businesses won’t know whether the law will remain intact, be ruled unconstitutional or be thrown out altogether. That creates real uncertainty.

Finally, the rate of complex regulations is putting a potentially crushing burden on small businesses. There are currently more than 4,200 new regulations working their way through the rule-making process in Washington. The sheer bulk of new rules prevents business owners from hiring or investing, because they have no idea what requirements they will face down the road. A Gallup poll in February found that 85 percent of small businesses weren’t hiring, and nearly half cited government regulations as a reason.

Fortunately, Americans recognize the pressures on the small-business community and support making practical changes to correct them. A survey by Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations, a coalition started by the NFIB, found more than 80 percent supported common-sense reforms such as giving business owners a greater voice in the rule-making process and subjecting new rules to independent review. Such down-to-earth measures would not only alleviate the pressure on the small business community but also ensure that new policies work more effectively and in tandem with the private sector.

Today, I look forward to taking these issues to our nation’s capital. If politicians are serious about the role of small businesses in the U.S. economy, they will start working now to reduce and simplify taxes, fix the health-care system and, balance the regulatory process so Florida’s business owners can get back to hiring, investing and helping the economy get back on track.



« Return to News