The Small Business Jobs Act cuts taxes for small business owners

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By Congressman Tom Perriello

After so many months of tough economic news, it has been encouraging in recent weeks to see good news about jobs in our communities and a new attitude in Washington. In recent weeks, Congress has passed important legislation to support American manufacturing jobs, including bills I co-sponsored to eliminate our trade deficit, create the first national manufacturing strategy, and close the ridiculous loopholes that reward companies that outsource jobs. We are also on the verge of passing a bill to slam China for manipulating its currency to choke out American products, including important steel manufacturing in Southern Virginia.

I have worked with the small business community for over a year to produce a package of tax relief and lending that could help jumpstart our economy. This finally passed last week in the form of the Small Business Jobs Act, which will become law this week. Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America, and I was proud this week to again cut taxes on small businesses and to help provide capital so they can hire and expand. The Small Business Jobs Act, which is fully paid for, enacts $12 billion in tax cuts so that owners can invest in their small businesses. These cuts include the elimination of capital gains taxes for small business investment and a significant increase in the deduction for new companies’ start-up costs.

The bill will also meet capital needs by helping community banks create a $30 billion lending fund that could leverage up to $300 billion in private investment in small businesses. Unlike the big bank bailout of 2008, which I strongly opposed, this entirely optional program rewards responsible actors and shifts investment back to small businesses and Main Street.

This bill should have had near unanimous agreement, but sadly, the final vote showed the partisanship and hypocrisy the American people are tired of seeing in Washington. Too many in Congress are eager to stand with small business for photo-ops but refuse to stand with them on one of the biggest pieces of small business legislation in a decade. In these brutal economic times, there are those focused on solving problems and those focused on scoring cheap political points. I am proud to stand with the problem solvers and to stand with small business.

This was also a great week for those in Central and Southside Virginia who have private health insurance. On Thursday, September 23, 2010, the new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” went into effect, ending some of the most abusive practices of health insurance companies and putting health care decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors.

These protections bring fairness and decency back into a system where both have been sorely lacking for decades. Because of the new health care reform law, children can no longer be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, and adults with pre-existing conditions will soon have the same protections. Children will also be allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26 which can give them flexibility as they seek higher education or advanced career certification. Annual and lifetime caps on benefits are now a thing of the past. And finally, if you pay your premiums and play by the rules, your insurance company cannot drop you when you get sick. They cannot deny care when you need it most.

These common-sense reforms were long overdue, but were blocked and delayed by powerful special interests determined to defend the status quo.  I will always defend the middle and working class Americans that have been getting squeezed by rising expenses and declining wages for decades. I will continue to fight for support to our small businesses and the middle class until we have the results this country deserves.

Please feel free to contact me to share your concerns and ideas. You may call 1-888-4-TOM4US (1-888-486-6487); write to 1520 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515; or visit www.perriello.house.gov to sign up for my weekly e-newsletter.