City, AGC Set Up Plan To Help Small Firms
Taxes are due today. Having difficulty understanding your 1040 forms? You’re not alone.
The National Federation of Independent Business is staging a protest today as it pushes for comprehensive tax reform and simplification. Small business owners will be distributing literature at post offices in 20 cities throughout the nation, including San Diego.
The literature will feature the likeness of Albert Einstein, along with a statement attributed to him, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the current tax code doesn’t work,” said Jack Faris, president of the NFIB. “America’s small businesses are suffocating under the 5.6 million words and phrases in the IRS tax code.
“As hard-working Americans mail their tax returns on April 17, small-business owners remind their friends and neighbors to call on their elected representatives for a fairer and simpler tax code. After all, if Einstein can’t figure it out, how can we?”
The NFIB is focusing on alleviating the tax burden hindering small business in three key areas: the death tax, the payroll tax and the IRS code itself.
The federation believes the current tax code is beyond repair and should be replaced with a simpler, fairer system. The NFIB has not endorsed a specific replacement tax plan, but advocates a lighter overall tax burden, a system that encourages economic growth and is simple enough for all taxpayers to understand, Faris said.
The NFIB is also calling on Congress to save Social Security, not by raising payroll taxes or letting the federal government invest Social Security funds in the stock market. Instead, they are calling for personal retirement accounts to allow individuals to invest their own retirement money, Faris said.
San Diego’s tax rebellion is set for 4 to 6:30 p.m. today at the main post office at 2535 Midway Drive.
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Small Contractors Program: The San Diego City Council unanimously approved a plan April 10 that would assist contracting businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans in gaining access to city contracts.
The proposal, known as a “mentoring” program, may succeed where an earlier attempt in San Diego had failed , struck down by a federal lawsuit in 1993 over questions of fairness.
In the new program, established firms with the Associated General Contractors will assist smaller, emerging businesses, and show them how to be successful in the industry, said Jim Ryan, executive vice president with the San Diego chapter of the AGC.
Established contractors will work with subcontractors, with the newer firms also becoming members of the AGC. The ultimate goal is to eventually turn these newer companies into established businesses themselves, Ryan said.
“The plan’s generally simple. The details haven’t been worked out yet,” he said.
Topics include the realities of bonding, or learning how to stay in the good graces of the company issuing a bond. Other subjects include learning how to bid and keeping proper records.
The larger companies will be working with the smaller firms during the three-year training process.
“We’ll hold their hand through this,” he said. “You can’t become a construction company overnight; you have to learn now.”
This approach will probably succeed where other attempts failed, Ryan said.
“Too often, public entities try to put a round peg in a square hole or a square peg in a round hole,” he said. “There’s something wrong in the details.”
In contrast, the AGC’s system works. It’s been tested in 13 or 14 other cities throughout the country, Ryan said.