Wednesday the U.S. House of Representatives passed a small business jobs bill giving small businesses $3.6 billion in tax breaks and which included a jobs-creation package giving local governments financing assistance for infrastructure improvements through programs like "Build America Bonds." The measure passed on a 246 to 178 vote with neither of the Idaho delegation in support. Congressman Walt Minnick was one of just seven Democrats voting against the bill while four Republicans joined the majority of Democrats on final passage, however Congressman Mike Simpson was not among them.
What did Walt Minnick vote against? In part, the bill would:
- Increase the exclusion from capital-gains tax on small-business stock — normally 50 percent but raised by the Recovery Act to 75 percent for equity acquired in 2009 and 2010 — to 100 percent for stock acquired through 2011.
- Allow taxpayers to treat venture-capital loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration as “at-risk” financing, which would increase the amount of deductions a business could take.
- Temporarily increase, for 2010 and 2011, the deduction for small-business start-up expenses from $5,000 to $20,000, and raise the upper limit for deductible expenses (above which the deductible begins to phase out) from $50,000 to $75,000.
- Limit the penalty for failing to report on a tax return a “listed transaction” — that is, a transaction that the Internal Revenue Service has formally identified as a scheme to avoid taxes.
[T]he bill pays for these outlays by raising revenue from other sources, and what the House giveth small business, it taketh from large corporations, particularly multinationals. One provision would raise nearly $8 billion over 10 years by taking aim at complex global money movements that reduce taxes. The bill would prevent companies in offshore havens from funneling income earned in the U.S. through tax-deductible payments to subsidiaries in third countries.
The bill must also pass the Senate which, as the Times reports, is contemplating its own version of the legislation.
Why Minnick would vote against small businesses and job creation and in favor of allowing large multinationals to avoid taxes through "offshore havens" is unclear (that's not unusual these days), after all, earlier this month he was touting his vote in favor of a small business jobs bill (after initially abstaining and voting against it).