The rushed passage of the tax bill by Republicans in Congress directly contradicts California’s interests by choosing to pursue tax reform that significantly hurts job creators and middle-income residents of our state.
Both the California Black Chamber of Commerce and the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, which represent small business owners across the state, urge Congress to reconsider eliminating the state and local tax deduction.
California is among the states hardest hit by this proposal, and has the third highest minority share of the population. The state and local tax deduction is the most frequently used in the tax code for the middle class. Hard-working men, women and families depend on it to help them make ends meet.
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This is not a “loophole” as some have mistakenly called it, but is essential for mom-and-pop businesses to survive and grow. Latino and other minority business owners have relied on the deduction to reinvest in their businesses and communities.
Small businesses are at the core of California’s $2.6 trillion economy, and a growing number are owned by minorities. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of African American-owned businesses grew by 29 percent and the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew by 44 percent.
Furthermore, even a partial elimination of this deduction threatens many of our public services, including education, public safety and infrastructure.
We urge Congress to stop this destructive course and instead pass meaningful tax reform that keeps the deduction intact and gives minority-owned businesses and other small employers the continued opportunity to contribute to our state’s economic prosperity.
Julian Cañete is president and CEO of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Aubry Stone is president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce and can be contacted at email@example.com.