Keeping a healthy business environment in Nevada is critical to our quality of life. Nevada’s elected officials have made a tremendous effort to make our state one of the best places in the country to do business. As secretary of state, I have implemented innovative measures to make it easier to do business in Nevada. Consequently, the secretary of state’s office recorded more than 90,000 new businesses in Nevada last year. Now, in Congress, I have pledged to continue that trend with federal policies that promote business, investment and job creation efforts. For example, I sought out and was assigned to the Small Business Committee, where I am the ranking member for the subcommittee on Finance and Tax.
In order to keep our economy strong, Congress should develop and support policies that allow businesses in our country to grow, and not be stifled by burdensome regulations and excessive taxes. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were some of the most widespread tax relief initiatives in our country’s history. Due to this tax relief, we have experienced more than five years of growth and record revenues coming into the U.S. Treasury. In the last four years, 7.6 million new jobs have been added to the economy, and we have experienced 42 straight months of uninterrupted growth under the current tax system. This accomplishment is directly connected to pro-growth economic policies, including lower tax rates, as a component of a healthy economy.
If these tax laws are not made permanent by the end of 2010 when they expire, Americans will be subject to a $400 billion tax increase. This tax hike would be the largest in our nation’s history, with many of the proposed increases landing squarely on the backs of the business community. Individual small businesses alone could endure a tax increase of as much as $4,000 a year. Therefore, I am an original cosponsor of the Tax Increase Prevention Act (H.R. 2734), which would make the 2001 and 2003 tax relief packages permanent. I have also cosponsored legislation to make the sales tax deduction from federal tax returns permanent. States like Nevada that don’t have an income tax shouldn’t be discriminated against by the federal tax code.
However, my efforts in Congress go beyond these initiatives. As the ranking member of the Finance and Tax subcommittee, I would like to explore the impacts of the death tax and the capital gains tax. The death tax has continued to be a burden on business owners, ranchers and farmers who wish to pass along their assets to family members. Instead of doing so, many businesses are liquidated to pay the IRS and the federal government because of excessive tax rates. The death tax is especially inequitable, because it is essentially a second tax levied on our property. This tax will revert back to an excessive rate of 55 percent after 2010 – the federal government shouldn’t be entitled to 55 percent of your wealth when you die. An increase in this tax will be devastating to many family-owned businesses.
Congress should also maintain lower capital gains tax rates to encourage business development and investment in new technologies, and in projects that make the economy more productive. Capital gains revenues have doubled since the 2003 tax cuts because they have helped boost our economy and have allowed businesses to grow, create jobs and encourage innovation.
Congress must continue to encourage pro-growth policies that bolster the economy and protect our businesses and working families, not stifle innovation and investment or increase the financial burden on Nevada’s businesses. I will continue to work hard in Congress for common sense measures that keep our businesses healthy and our economy strong.