Last year, even as he struggled through the worst of the recession, Chris Upham said revenue at his District-based real estate and construction businesses doubled — allowing him to hire two agents.
But Upham said he hasn’t increased his staff thus far in 2010 and he doesn’t expect to for the remainder of the year.
That’s because his taxes rose sevenfold. And he said he anticipates they’ll increase again if the Bush tax cuts for people earning $250,000 and above expire at the end of the year.
As small businesses try to plot their recovery, attention is turning to what many owners consider burdensome policies — higher taxes, new accounting procedures and health-care mandates. Even as the government tries to help with an array of small-business initiatives, many owners say the intervention is as much a hindrance to hiring as the faltering economy.
Their perceptions are important because the Obama administration is counting on small-business owners like Upham, whose ranks represent more than half the U.S. workforce, to jump-start the economy, much like they did after downturns in the early 1990s and 2001.
“We did well last year, hired two people, but the taxes ate through the income we had,” Upham said.
“It seemed like we were moving up, [and now] consumer confidence is down,” he added. “What I want government to do is not raise taxes — decrease them to allow us extra money for hiring.”
Lower taxes for small businesses will help increase hiring. Occam’s Razor Moment. Not that complicated…