How Each Presidential Candidate Would Change Taxes for Small Business Owners

How Each Presidential Candidate Would Change Taxes for Small Business Owners

Small business has become one of the major topics of the 2016 presidential race -- and it's easy to see why. Candidates are aware that small business owners will be critical to the upcoming election. Both the Democratic candidates and the Republican candidates have expressed interest in growing small business -- but they've approached it in different ways.

Hillary Clinton (Democratic)

  • Hillary Clinton has expressed an interest in developing a plan for small business owners.

  • Hillary Clinton has voted against tax subsidies for American businesses that have sent operations and jobs overseas.

  • Hillary Clinton voted for the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act. This act delayed the ability for states to tax electronic commerce.

Though Hillary Clinton has primarily voted for increased taxation, she has promoted a comprehensive plan for small business owners. Her plan includes removing bureaucratic red tape, making it easier for small business owners to acquire funding, offering tax relief to applicable small businesses, and making it easier for small business owners to break into other markets.

Martin O'Malley (Democratic)

  • Martin O'Malley has a history of raising taxes, and was given a grade of "D" in fiscal policy by the Cato Institute in 2012.

  • Martin O'Malley raised income taxes, gas taxes, hospital taxes, tobacco taxes, corporate taxes, and alcohol taxes during his governorship.

  • Martin O'Malley signed a $1.4 billion package of tax increases that he signed in his very first year as governor.

Bernie Sanders (Democratic)

  • Bernie Sanders has stated that he would raise taxes on the "wealthiest Americans and corporations" if elected.

  • Bernie Sanders voted against the Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2000, which would have prohibited states from taxing Internet access.

  • Bernie Sanders filibustered against Bush tax cuts in 2010 for nearly 9 hours.

Bernie Sanders has a history of raising taxes, including corporate taxes. He is also interested in raising the federal minimum wage, which could have consequences for small business owners.

Jeb Bush (Republican)

  • Jeb Bush is interested in cutting corporate tax rates and simplifying the tax brackets overall.

  • Jeb Bush wants to remove any subsidies related to the gas, oil, solar, and wind industries, potentially introducing ramifications for businesses in these sectors.

  • Jeb Bush has cut taxes in nearly every year of his governorship, including both property taxes and corporate taxes, earning an "A" in fiscal policy from the Cato Institute.

In general, Jeb Bush's strategies are good for small business owners. He has shown that he is extremely interested in cutting corporate taxes and taxes for small businesses. However, his interest in eliminating certain deductions may make it more difficult for small business owners in specific industries. He has also spoken for removing interest payment deductions entirely.

Ben Carson (Republican)

  • Ben Carson is interested in raising the federal minimum wage, along with a few other Republican candidates.

  • As a non-politician, Ben Carson has not been recorded voting for or against taxes.

Chris Christie (Republican)

  • Chris Christie is interested in removing many tax deductions except for home-mortgage interest and charitable contributions. This could have consequences for Schedule C business owners.

  • Chris Christie is interested in lowering the corporate rate of taxes to 25 percent, away from the current rate of 35 percent.

  • Chris Christie received a grade of "B" from the Cato Institute for his fiscal policies.

Ted Cruz (Republican)

  • Ted Cruz is an advocate for flat taxes, which would lead to all individuals paying the same tax rates.

  • Ted Cruz co-sponsored the Internet Tax Freedom Forever act, which would have banned state-level taxation of e-commerce.

  • Ted Cruz has supported cutting corporate tax rates to 15%, believing that this would improve upon the overall American Economy.

Carly Fiorina (Republican)

  • Carly Fiorina supports eliminating capital gains taxs for investments made by small businesses.

  • Carly Fiorina is against taxing e-commerce transactions and Internet access.

  • Carly Fiorina was for extending the Bush tax cuts.

As the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina is primarily in favor of slashing corporate taxes. She also wants to remove many regulations that she believes stand in the way of small business owners.

Mike Huckabee (Republican)

  • Mike Huckabee is interested in an alternative taxation method called FairTax which would replace income taxes with a national retail sales tax.

  • Mike Huckabee would like to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service in entirety.

  • Mike Huckabee increased taxes while the governor of Arkansas as a whole, but cut smaller, individual taxes a total of 94 times.

Bobby Jindal (Republican)

  • Bobby Jindal is interested in eliminating corporate income taxes entirely, in favor of increasing sales taxes.

  • Bobby Jindal supported making Bush tax cuts permanent.

  • Bobby Jindal has reportedly decreased taxes within his state by $1 billion over the course of five years.

John Kasich (Republican)

  • John Kasich is interested in capping capital gains taxes at 15% and dropping business tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent.

  • John Kasich has proposed a development tax credit for small businesses.

  • John Kasich has cut taxes by $5 billion from 2011 to 2015 and has eliminated income taxes for many small businesses.

George Pataki (Republican)

  • George Pataki wants to reduce corporate tax rates and ayroll taxes.

  • George Pataki raised taxes by about $3 billion in his final term in office.

  • George Pataki wants to remove many personal exemptions, which may have consequences for Schedule C business owners.

Rand Paul (Republican)

  • Rand Paul is interested in creaing a "flat and fair" tax of 17%.

  • Rand Paul would also eliminate "double taxation," including capital gains and interest tax.

  • Rand Paul voted against sales taxes on online purchasing.

Marco Rubio (Republican)

  • Marco Rubio is interested in eliminating capital gains taxes entirely.

  • Marco Rubio introduced the American Growth, Recovery, empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act with Senator Chris Coons, creating tax credits for a variety of business owners.

  • Marco Rubio voted against the American Jobs Act of 2011, which would have increased taxes for businesses by $453 billion.

Marco Rubio has shown an interest in making success easier for small business owners to achieve. He wants to reduce both taxes and regulations for small business owners and also believes that increased immigration laws could also aid in the building of small American business.

Rick Santorum (Republican)

  • Rick Santorum would like to lower all taxes to 20%, including taxes on business income.

  • Rick Santorum voted for the Internet Tax Freedom Act, prohibiting taxes on e-commerce sales.

  • Rick Santorum has also shown interest in cutting the corporate income tax rate in half, to 17.5%.

Apart from the above, Rick Santorum has spoken out about reducing costs specifically for manufacturers, in order to increase manufacturing within the country. However, Santorum also wants to increase the federal minimum wage.

Donald Trump (Republican)

  • Donald Trump is interested in cutting corporate taxes to at least 15%.

  • Donald Trump has spoken out against flat taxes but spoken for redefining the current tax brackets.

  • Donald Trump has also shown an interest in removing corporate taxes entirely but creating a 20% tax on imports.

Though Donald Trump's tax strategies have changed over time, he remains focused on lower tax rates. Out of all the candidates, it's likely that he would lower tax rates the most, though some have questioned whether these low rates would be sustainable.

Each of the 2016 candidates have their own views. However, in general, the Democratic candidates support increasing taxes while creating subsidies and business-oriented programs. The Republican candidates are focused on decreasing taxes while removing subsidies and small business-related programs.

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