Danville Express

Perspective - September 14, 2007

Guest Opinion: New tax law benefits Danville business women

by U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet in Danville with a group of women small business owners from the Tri-Valley and the greater Bay Area. The types of businesses varied widely, from engineering and communications consulting to eco-conscious private air charters. Yet what united all of them was determination, a commitment to innovation and excellence, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

These women are rightfully proud of their accomplishments and contributions to our region's economy. I am proud to report that with my strong support, the U.S. House has worked to celebrate their tenacity and perseverance by passing several pieces of legislation to aid small businesses.

The Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2007 provides $4.8 billion in tax credits and incentives to small businesses throughout the nation, and the Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007 will decrease fees associated with and increase the number of available lenders for certain types of Small Business Administration loans.

During our meeting, Catherine Smith, the president of World Class Charters here in Danville, remarked on her tremendous tax burden and other difficulties she has encountered. As small businesses like Catherine's continue to create two-thirds of the new jobs in our nation, it's clear that efforts to aid small business people, like those that I have supported, are overdue.

The Small Business Tax Relief Act provides necessary new incentives for business owners to focus on growth and expansion, and removes some of the antiquated penalties that previously existed in the tax code.

Rather than penalizing success, the Small Business Tax Relief Act rewards small businesses as they expand by allowing them, under many instances, to keep the same tax benefits they enjoyed as a smaller business.

The law extends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit through August 2011. This credit is vital because it encourages management to hire economically disadvantaged workers, including disabled veterans.

For many businesses, purchasing new equipment or replacing old machinery is a costly affair that rips into profits. That's why the Small Business Tax Relief Act increases the amount small business can deduct from their taxes and the number of businesses that can take the deduction for new capital investments.

This new tax law will help local industry keep its edge over the competition. Married couples jointly owning a small business share the wonderful successes of a small business venture, but all of the risks as well. This new law ensures that each spouse receives credit for paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.

The federal government should be in the business of fostering growth among America's small and family owned businesses. Small businesses are a leading job growth engine, especially here in the innovative economy of the Tri-Valley.

We should do all we can to encourage small business growth and expansion because as our small businesses grow stronger, so do the communities in which they reside and the workers they employ. By enacting the Small Business Tax Relief Act into law, we have decreased the burden that small businesses here in the Bay Area face.

As your representative in Congress, and former small business owner myself, I will continue to advocate on behalf of our region's small business owners.

U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., Pleasanton) represents the 11th Congressional District.

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