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Letters to the Hill

ICBA Letter in Support of American Jobs Creation Act of 2003

May 19, 2004

The Honorable Michael G. Oxley
U.S. House of Representatives
2308 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Oxley:

On behalf of the 5,000 members of the Independent Community Bankers of America we urge you to support the American Jobs Creation Act of 2003 (H.R. 2896), which includes essential provisions to help our Nation's small businesses and community financial institutions. Specifically, as the full House considers this important FSC/ETI tax measure, we urge you to preserve the Subchapter S tax reform and simplification measures already in HR 2896 to help ease the punitive double tax burden faced by thousands of domestic small businesses and community banks nationwide. We ask that these important S corporation reforms be included in any final ETI-fix legislation.

ICBA believes the S corporation simplification measures in HR 2896 would greatly improve the viability of small businesses and lenders nationwide. These reforms would also foster an essential boost in economic growth since our Nation's small businesses rely heavily on local lending as their principal funding source to start, operate and grow their businesses and create jobs. Community banks account for 33% of all small business loans, and for very small loans - those under $100,000 - community banks' share is 36%. For nonresidential real estate loans, a key form of small business credit, community banks held 42% of these loans under $1 million and 61% of those under $100,000.

I note that the House-passed Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 1375) includes related language to make it easier for national banks to qualify for Subchapter S status by allowing directors of national banks to own subordinated debt rather than stock. Supporting HR 2896 and its small business Subchapter S reforms will enhance and broaden this policy, helping to ensure essential access to capital and credit for the key job-creating sector of our economy. Thank you for your support.


Camden R. Fine
President and CEO

Copy: The Honorable William Thomas, Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means

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