Some small Pa. businesses uneasy over proposed tax code changes

Small businesses, like this coffee ship in Pittsburgh, might benefit from the GOP-led tax code overhaul. But some might not. (AP)

Small businesses, like this coffee ship in Pittsburgh, might benefit from the GOP-led tax code overhaul. But some might not. (AP)

The Republican-sponsored tax code overhaul in Congress faces an uncertain path, and will likely see some major changes as it makes its way toward legalization.

Nevertheless, small-business owners in Pennsylvania trying to figure out how its current iteration would affect them have mixed feelings.

The more than 400-page bill of sweeping tax code changes has been touted as “pro-business” by its House GOP authors and the Trump administration.

And it would, indeed, slash the corporate tax rate by 15 percent.

Small-business owners would also get a lower rate on some of their income, but there are limits to who would benefit.

That’s one reason the National Federation of Independent Business won’t back the plan. In a statement, it said the language “leaves many small businesses behind.”

Gene Barr, who heads the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, said he’s hearing similar concerns from many inside the commonwealth — particularly owners of small “pass through” businesses.

“A lot of family businesses are going to perhaps have some of these concerns, where they say, ‘Hey, that’s not quite the level of incentive I had hoped for,’ ” Barr said.

But, despite issues business advocacy groups may have with the plan’s current form, he said it’s important to “stay in the room” to work toward larger goals such as simplifying the tax code.

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