The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance and Chris Carlozzi of the National Federation of Independent Business hosted a press conference via Zoom with several Massachusetts small business owners this morning to tackle the issue of the legislature’s 80% income tax increase amendment.
While legislators and other proponents bill the constitutional amendment that is before the voters this November as aimed at the “affluent,” in reality it will also levy the income tax increase on many small businesses and their owners who file their taxes in certain ways or plan to sell their small business upon their retirement. The legislature’s 80% income tax ballot question will cut into retirement “nest eggs” for many of our state’s small business owners.
The small business owners that spoke out today represent thousands of others across the state in similar position. Most are solidly middle-class men and women who worked hard to build their businesses from scratch and would not be considered “affluent” by most reasonable definitions, but would fall under the purview of the legislature’s new, aggressive 80% tax increase on the wealthy if it were to pass.
The small business owners that spoke out today were CJ Gangi, owner of a fruit and vegetable processing company on the New Hampshire border, Mike Kane, owner of a retail self-storage company, Jeff Sheehy, owner of a materials manufacturing company in Lawrence, Carla Gomes, owner of two small restaurants in the North End, Ann Sullivan, owner of a small construction and landscaping business, and Toby Burr, owner of a small boat yard in Marion.
“We feel compelled to warn the public that this 80% income tax will discourage people from owning small businesses in Massachusetts. This hike by the legislature aims to tax affluent individuals, but that isn’t easy because affluent individuals just move and take their wealth out of the state. The luxury tax on boats was short lived because of this. Many small business owners plan to sell their small business to fund their retirement. This tax would be applied to that sale and rob hard-working middle-class people of their retirement savings. Please, let’s not fall for another tax the rich failure and do more damage to our tender economy,” stated Toby Burr, owner of Burr Brothers Boats located in Marion, MA.
“Most ordinary Massachusetts residents work at a small business. The self-storage business that I started in 1999 is typical of what your average small business looks like. I work alongside my employees and help customers as they walk in the front door. Small businesses like mine are the backbone of middle-class America. This tax would treat me as affluent at my retirement. It’s not right that these lawmakers want to raise taxes by 80% on middle class small business owners at the time when we need this nest egg the most, retirement,” stated Mike Kane, owner of 126 Self Storage in Ashland, MA.
“Owning a restaurant is one of the hardest jobs you can imagine. Every day you must work and often times you work all day long and into the late hours at night. As a small business owner in the North End, one that has managed to stay in business, pandemic and restrictions have made it nearly impossible. Adding an 80% tax increase will only hurt our struggling industry and the small business owners that have tried so hard to build these businesses into their retirement nest egg,” stated Carla Gomes, owner of Antico Forno and Terramia in the North End of Boston.
“My family and I started a fruit and vegetable processing company in Haverhill, only a mile from New Hampshire. We employee around seventy-five members of our local community and the legislature’s 80% tax increase will take away money that we could otherwise be used to make new hires, increase wages, or reinvest into our small business. For small businesses like ours on the state border, every day we think about moving to New Hampshire,” stated CJ Gangi, GM of Fresh Valley Foods Corp. in Haverhill, MA.
“As a woman owned construction small business, we deal with significant risks and expenses. We buy very expensive equipment, have a lot of labor costs, and put a lot of our money into projects hoping they will work. By adding the legislature’s 80% tax increase, this will add an additional cost to construction prices, which Massachusetts is struggling to keep affordable,” stated Ann Sullivan, owner of Metro Equipment Corporation located in Braintree, MA.
“As a small business owner who has for generations been located in Lawrence, I have been fortunate enough to hire a lot of employees from our city. The legislature’s 80% tax increase on small businesses will only take away from our abilities to continue to grow in our city. For a small business like mine in Lawrence, we are a middle-class operation, but the legislature would tax us if we were affluent,” stated Jeff Sheehy, owner of Whittemore Perlite Company in Lawrence, MA.
“So many Massachusetts residents are considered middle class and this tax would treat them like they were affluent. For these small business owners, their small business is their retirement nest egg. The legislative ballot question would raise their taxes by 80% when they need their retirement money the most. If the legislature is able to pass their 80% tax hike this November, many small businesses that are considered middle class will have to pay taxes like they were the state’s most affluent. That is just wrong,” concluded Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.