WASHINGTON – Senator John F. Kerry, Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today commented on President Bush’s small business tax proposal: “Today, President Bush laid out a disappointing set of small business proposals. The truth is, the President can use whatever words he chooses, but his agenda will not allow small businesses to grow or create jobs. “Most small businesses won’t benefit under the Bush plan. Only 11 percent of partnerships and 2 percent of non-farm sole proprietorships have total sales over $500,000. These businesses are too small to benefit from accelerated marginal rate reductions. The Bush plan is a big-business agenda in small-business clothing. “President Bush also renewed his call for the permanent repeal of the estate tax. Many Republicans have taken up the cause of estate tax repeal under the auspices of helping family businesses be passed on to future generations. “The problem is that estate tax repeal won’t help small businesses one bit. I’ve advanced reforms that would spare family-owned businesses from the estate tax, if the tax were left in place for the very richest Americans, with estates worth more than $100 million. Bush opposes this compromise. “So the debate has never really been about “small business.” It’s about the richest families in America being able to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth – much of which has never been taxed, despite Republican claims of “double taxation.” “This Administration claims to be doing a lot to help small business, but that should be an insult to hard-working small business owners. Their entire small business agenda has consisted of two things: marginal rate cuts and estate tax repeal. That’s it. In his new “growth” package, the President added an increase in business expensing, but even this change would benefit only a small minority of small businesses. While leaving small businesses out in the cold. “If President Bush really wanted to help small businesses, he would help to advance my proposals: ·Pass targeted, temporary tax relief such as a payroll tax holiday, or smart proposals like the BRIDGE Act (Business Retained Income During Growth and Expansion) that would allow fast-growing businesses – the real engines of job growth, even during economic downturns – to defer tax payments if the funds are reinvested in the business; ·Fully fund programs through the Small Business Administration that will increase small businesses’ access to capital, empower women and minorities, and foster the growth of new and existing businesses. ·Return the country to a path to fiscal responsibility in order to improve the economy's long-term prospects, keep interest rates low, and reduce the debt burden on future generations.” ###