The Senate has failed to reach the 60 votes needed to pass S. 2237, Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act. The final vote was 53-44. This bill would have provided a few small business tax benefits including:
- A tax credit equal to 10% of the difference in the compensation paid to employees in 2012 over 2011; and
- The 100% bonus depreciation allowance for business would be extended.
During floor consideration of the bill, an amendment offered by Republicans to substitute the House-passed H.R. 9 (see below) failed on a vote of 73-24. Following, an amendment offered by Sen. Landrieu, which included a provision to fix an anomaly in the Woman-Owned Small Business Contracting program, as well as a number of popular tax extenders, fell three votes shy (57-41) of the 60 votes needed.
We have always supported extension of the bonus depreciation, and we also support measures that encourage hiring, which is the goal of the 10% tax credit. Tying the 10% tax credit to an increase in employee compensation would have had a positive effect on job creation. However, once again, the partisan nature of the Senate has prevented passage of legislation important to small tech businesses.
Compare the failed Senate small business tax bill to a House-passed version from April of this year. That legislation, H.R. 9, the “Small Business Tax Cut Act,” passed easily in the House, largely along party lines, by a vote of 235-173. It would provide a 20-percent tax cut to companies employing 499 or fewer employees during either calendar year 2010 or 2011.
Now that the Senate has failed to pass a small business tax bill – and has rejected the House-passed version, we do not expect further activity on a small business tax package until year-end. Let’s hope the bodies get together with a bi-partisan plan that can be passed by both chambers. It remains unclear that either the House or Senate plans can gain the needed bi-partisan support.