Small-businesses provide opinions for state Legislature

A poll of Washington small business owners released Friday shows big opposition to a healthcare payroll tax and strongly confirms what is already intuitively known – small business owners are demanding that lawmakers freeze or cut spending, rather than raise taxes to close the ballooning state budget deficit.

  • Tuesday, January 13, 2009 2:59am
  • Business

A poll of Washington small business owners released Friday shows big opposition to a healthcare payroll tax and strongly confirms what is already intuitively known – small business owners are demanding that lawmakers freeze or cut spending, rather than raise taxes to close the ballooning state budget deficit.

Each year, the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s leading small business association, polls its members on issues vital to their survival as entrepreneurs at both the state and federal levels. NFIB/Washington was to center its lobbying positions on responses it received to five questions on the 2009 State Member Ballot when the new session of the Washington Legislature convened Monday.

When asked if the Legislature should provide catastrophic healthcare coverage to all Washington residents, funded by a payroll tax of 1 percent paid by employees and 3 percent to 5 percent by employers, 90 percent of respondents said “No,” only 4 percent said “Yes” and the remainder were either undecided or did not respond to the question.

Asked if the Legislature should prohibit employers from holding mandatory employee meetings about religious, political or labor organization issues, 67 percent said “No,” 22 percent favored such a prohibition, 10 percent were undecided and 1 percent did not respond.

Queried as to whether the Legislature should either freeze/cut spending or raise taxes to address the projected state budget deficit, 95 percent favored freezing or cutting spending, 1 percent opted to raise taxes, with the remainder undecided or not responding.

A question enquiring if policymakers should set up a review of the relationship between the state and tribal businesses, particularly in new areas of commerce in which tribes compete with nontribal citizens, drew an 85 percent “Yes” response, 8 percent said “No,” 5 percent were undecided and 2 percent did not respond.

The poll’s final question asked small business owners if the Legislature should increase the felony threshold from $250 to $750. Almost six in 10 (59 percent) said “No,” 30 percent voted “Yes,” 9 percent were undecided and 3 percent did not respond.

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals.

More in Business

GE’s tumble from grace | Don Brunell

General Electric, once the world’s most valuable company, has been topped by Walgreens.

Vintage items, gifts and more at new Enumclaw shop

Featuring an eclectic mix of merchandise, partners Tori Ammons and Melissa Oglesbee… Continue reading

The role models around us

Sometimes, being a good role model is a good business decision, too.

Seattle’s misstep highlights need for new approach

Last week, Seattle’s City Council did an “about face” revoking the onerous… Continue reading

Washington’s expensive culvert court case

Too much money is spent in court where it should go to increasing the salmon population

Straw pulp looks like a game changer

250,000 tons of straw will soon be pulped for paper products.

Bad labels tough to shed

Seattle’s going to have a hard time battling the “anti-business” label.

Lt. Dan needs lots of helping hands

Gary Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and they began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad. Sinise often raised the money to pay the band and fund its travel.

New Enumclaw wine bar aims for broad audience

Bordeaux Wine Bar is scheduled to be open Wednesdays through Sundays.

Streamlining regulations makes more housing affordable

There were over 21,000 people homeless in Washington State last year.

New approaches needed to fight super wildfires | Don Brunell

Last year, wildfires nationwide consumed 12,550 square miles, an area larger than Maryland.

Skilled trade jobs go unfilled in our robust economy

Known as blue collar jobs, they routinely pay $45,000 to $65,000 a year or more.