Here's a batch of letters that got overrun by other issues before we could get them in.
This is from Alexandra Sirota, director of the N.C. Budget & Tax Center:
By T.W. Farnam and Tom Hamburger - The Washington Post
WASHINGTON – Small businesses, like the family-owned diner and the Main Street hardware store, are iconic images of America’s entrepreneurial spirit. Now, as President Barack Obama and lawmakers seek to negotiate a deal on taxes and federal spending to avert a year-end budget crisis, both political parties and a range of outside advocates are claiming they best represent the interests of small business.
But politicians and interest groups have twisted the definition of “small business” as they seek an advantage in the debate over whose taxes to raise. Those who claim to speak for small business often represent only a narrow slice of that broad sector, if they represent it at all. And groups that are truly composed of small firms often are allied with advocates on the political right or left whose interests bear little resemblance to those of mom-and-pop stores.
At the heart of the debate is whether tax rates should increase for top-end taxpayers, as Obama has long urged. Most small businesses pay taxes according to individual rates, not corporate rates, so some firms would see their taxes increase if upper-end rates are raised.
Dane Stangler has never owned a small business, and doesn't expect to ever own one. But he's in a position to understand the challenges facing people who own small companies.
Stangler, director of Research & Policy department at the Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation, talks with The Associated Press as Congress was haggling about the fiscal cliff, the combination of billions of dollars in tax increases and budget cuts scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. Economists have warned that if Congress doesn't prevent those tax increases and budget cuts from going into effect, the country will be at risk of going into a recession. And it's believed that small businesses would suffer the most.
The Small Business Administration and the AICPA are offering an online question and answer session called "Getting Your Small Business Ready for the Tax Filing Season."
The live chat, which will be hosted by Edward S. Karl of the AICPA, will be held on Wed., Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. Go here to participate and for complete details.
Among the issues facing small business owners are the fiscal cliff, the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy and a desire for a fiscal strategy that helps develop the economy while cutting back on the national deficit.
According to a Small Business Majority opinion poll, a majority of small business owners are in favor of allowing tax cuts for the wealthiest expire at the end of 2012. However, small business owners are against the expiration of tax cuts for the middle class.
Small Business Majority is expected to release more polling results on Nov. 14.
Claim: “I’m going to estimate, 25 percent, give or take.”
Speaker: Democrat Walter Dalton at gubernatorial debate Wednesday.
Context: In the first televised debate, the candidates for governor were asked this question: “Can each of you tell me the approximate tax rate you paid last year?”
The subject is ripe this election season because Republican Pat McCrory won’t release his personal tax returns amid questions about his job as a consultant at a law firm that lobbies state government and the controversy in the presidential race about Mitt Romney’s taxes.
Claim: “The best incentive for new jobs in North Carolina ... is not to have the highest sales tax, the highest corporate tax and the highest income tax in the Southeast, which is what we have right now.”
Speaker: Pat McCrory
Context: McCrory compares North Carolina’s tax rates to its peers as part of his pitch to make the state more competitive and business-friendly. We will look at just the tax rates here.
Claim: “There is only one person up here who has proposed new taxes and that is the lieutenant governor along with Gov. Perdue, when just three, four months ago they were recommending a 15 percent sales tax increase.”
Speaker: Republican candidate Pat McCrory, gubernatorial debate Oct. 3
Context: McCrory hit his Democratic rival early in the debate for supporting a sales-tax hike pitched earlier this year by Gov. Bev Perdue.
“Year After Year”
Sponsor: Republican Governors Association
Claim: “Year after year Walter Dalton has raised taxes on families and businesses.”