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Business Leaders: tax compromise has some great aspects, but expiration of tax break for very rich will hurt small business


The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) today said the agreement on the tax reduction reached between the Obama Administration and the Republican leadership 'has some great aspects' but at the time the organization cast doubt on claims that letting the tax relief expire will hurt small businesses and job creation.

(EDITORS NOTE: To speak to any of the individuals quoted, please contact Sam Gronner, Coyne Public Relations, on 973 939 2836 or 201 694 8835).

Following is the full statement issued by ASBC:

How long will we let the government hold small business, working families, and economic recovery hostage to their narrow self-interest in helping millionaires and billionaires make even more money on the backs of the other 98% of Americans? The compromise the White House reached with Republicans has some great aspects but the 'compromise' ignores the reality that allowing the tax cuts to expire for the richest Americans will not hurt small businesses nor job creation.

According to a recent report co-authored by ASBC, 'Less than 3 percent of tax filers with any business income make over $200,000 (individuals) or $250,000 (couples) a year, and many of those are not small business owners, much less small business owner-operators with employees. They include K Street lobbyists, Wall Street investment partners, big business CEOs paid to sit on the boards of other big companies, wealthy people renting out their vacation homes when they aren't using them and even President Obama, who earns book royalties.'

Jeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder and former CEO, Seventh Generation and ASBC Chair, stated:

'I'm angry about and deeply disappointed in Obama's decision to abandon the pledge he made during his campaign to end the Bush tax cuts for wealth Americans. When I voted for Obama I voted to raise my own taxes since millionaires like me should be shouldering much more of the economic pain this country is experiencing. Continuing the tax cut is irresponsible given the huge deficit we're facing, bad for business, unfair and inequitable for workers and will leave our country less able to compete on a global basis for generations to come.'

Fran Teplitz, Director, Strategic Outreach, Green America, stated:

'As an organization committed to creating an economy that works for people and the planet, Green America supports an end to the tax cuts for wealthy individuals who are better positioned in society to provide the financial resources needed to get our economy back-on-track. All of us must help to strengthen our society. Ending these tax cuts could make $700 billion available for national job creation, the development of renewable energy, education, and healthcare.' http://www.greenamerica.org/

Mike Lapham, Director of the Responsible Wealth project, which represents 700 wealthy business owners and wealthy individuals, said:

'As far as we're concerned, this is not a compromise - it's giving away the store on taxes. Lincoln/Kyl is the worst of the proposals on the estate tax, and there's no justification at all for extending the income tax breaks for the top 2%. There's no evidence that raising marginal tax rates by 3-4% will affect the investment behavior of business people or wealthy individuals, and certainly no evidence it will reduce jobs. We would need to see some GOP concessions on taxes before you could call this a compromise.' http://www.faireconomy.org/issues/responsible_wealth

David Levine, ASBC Executive Director, concluded: 'We need a new vision and policies and this compromise misses the opportunity to create a fairer taxing system that helps restore our economy, in particular by investing in infrastructure and small and midsized businesses to create much needed jobs.'

About ASBC
The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) represents businesses working to create a financially vibrant economy that is also socially responsible and environmentally friendly. More than 60,000 businesses and social enterprises and more than 150,000 individuals are represented by the ASBC. These businesses see America’s future embracing a stronger and more competitive economy, yet requiring a shift from the old business paradigm of ignoring ecological and social impacts to a new economy grounded in principles of sustainability. Businesses involved in the ASBC are driving innovation in America and creating jobs rather than using their capital to buy political influence. For more information, visit http://www.asbcouncil.org.

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