Scientific Opinion Poll: Small Business Owners Say Tax Fairness is More Important Than Tax Cuts

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Small business owners think they are at a disadvantage under the current tax system, and they want to see fair and responsible tax reform rather than tax cuts that will blow up the deficit

Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today found lawmakers who are pushing tax cuts over tax reform are on the wrong path as far as small business owners are concerned.  

The survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of Small Business Majority, found small businesses think they are at a disadvantage under the current tax system, and they want to see tax reform that is both fair and responsible. The poll revealed small business owners are concerned about creating a level playing field when it comes to taxes. In fact, seven in 10 small business owners believe their business is harmed somewhat or a lot when big corporations use loopholes to avoid taxes. What’s more, the vast majority of small business owners (85 percent) feel the tax code unfairly benefits large corporations over small businesses, and that corporations and wealthy Americans should be required to pay their fair share of taxes.

Small business owners are well aware that America’s tax system serves to benefit the highest earners and largest corporations—leaving everyone else, especially small employers, to foot the bill,” said Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer. “We need a tax system that benefits those who are just trying to make ends meet each month, and while it is certainly true that small businesses could benefit from a simplified tax code, that system will only only help America’s job creators if it is accompanied by the elimination of costly loopholes that primarily benefit large corporations.”

When it comes to tax cuts, small business owners certainly don’t oppose them but they also don’t want cuts to come at the expense of long-term economic stability. Indeed, seven in 10 small business owners feel that tax cuts are important but not increasing the federal deficit is more important.

Small business owners are particularly concerned about the ability of large multinational firms to use the offshore profits loophole to evade American taxes. Three-fourths of respondents feel that large corporations should not be able to choose to declare some or all of their income in a foreign country in order to lower their taxes.

“I don’t think lawmakers should be focusing just on tax cuts; instead, we should be working on true tax reform so that everyone is paying their fair share–particularly the wealthiest Americans and corporations,” said Clifton Broumand, president of Man & Machine, Inc. in Landover, Maryland. “If we promote a fair tax system, rather than figuring out ways for some to game the system, small business owners would not have to pay a disproportionate share of taxes. A fair system would also promote a level playing field, which would help our economy grow and allow us to solve some of this country's major issues, such as our aging infrastructure."

Notably, the poll found healthcare, not taxes, is the top priority for small business owners. When asked to rank their top priorities, small business owners named bringing down healthcare costs, creating a tax system that is fair to all and improving healthcare coverage as their top three concerns.

The survey reflects interviews of 500 small business owners with 1-99 employees. The randomly selected sample was split along political party lines with 46 percent identifying as conservative, 35 percent as liberal and 12 percent as pure independent. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.

For the full poll report, please visit:


About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of an inclusive, equitable and diverse economy. We actively engage our network of more than 55,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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