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ICBA Says Targeted Tax Relief Will Help Small Business Sector, Contribute to Broader Economic Recovery

Washington, D.C. (July 15, 2009)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) today told Congress that although key tax-relief provisions in stimulus legislation passed earlier this year helped the nation’s more than 8,000 community banks continue to lend to small businesses, more targeted relief is needed to help Main Street economies fully recover.

“While our nation’s community banks did not cause the financial crisis, ICBA-advocated tax relief has helped them boost lending to small businesses to get our economy back on track,” said Paul Merski, ICBA senior vice president and chief economist, in testimony before the House Small Business Committee. “Additional reforms are needed, however, to further expand small business access to credit and help community banks fix the problems Wall Street has created for Main Street.”

Small businesses are a critical part of the nation’s economy and job creation, and community banks—themselves small businesses—are key to small business lending. Community banks represent about 12 percent of the nation’s bank assets but make 31 percent of the dollar amount of all small business loans less than $1 million.

While the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in February included many ICBA tax-relief proposals, more targeted tax efforts are needed. Merski laid out ICBA’s expanded tax-relief plan that will help the small business economy continue to thrive and contribute to broader economic recovery. Among its provisions, ICBA’s plan would:

  • Expand the net operating loss carryback to five years or more;
  • Boost the first-time homebuyer tax credit to $15,000 through 2010;
  • Allow IRA shareholder investment in Subchapter S Corporations;
  • Permit Subchapter S Corporations to issue preferred stock;
  • Avoid tax hikes on small businesses during the recession;
  • Expand Small Business Administration loan programs; and
  • Ensure more reasonable bank regulations and exams to avoid choking off credit.

ICBA thanks House Small Business Committee Chairman Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and the other members of the committee and looks forward to working with Congress to ensure the nation’s tax policies help common-sense community banks and other small businesses continue to contribute to economic recovery.

To read ICBA’s testimony, visit www.icba.org.