The Senate is currently considering a plan to link the much-ballyhooed federal minimum wage increase to a package of tax breaks designed to mollify small business owners. According to a press release from Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee, the provisions include:
1. Extending for the next five years the "Work Opportunity" Tax Credit, which can be claimed by employers who hire workers off welfare, for example. The bill would also broaden this group to include returning veterans.
2. Extending by one year the tax rule that allows small businesses to bundle as much as $112,000 in expenses into one annual deduction.
3. Extending by one year the rules that allow entrepreneurs to deduct expenses incurred while refurbishing leased facilities or in some cases facilities that you own or build.
4. Allowing a larger group of companies to use the simplified cash method of accounting for tax purposes.
5. Making S Corp status available to more new and existing businesses.
6. Creating a certification process for professional employer organizations or PEOs, which serve as the employer of record for companies that want to outsource basic human resources functions.
What do you think? First, are tax breaks a fair trade for higher minimum wages? Second, which of these provisions do you find most appealing? Third, are any of these proposals, in your view, a bad idea?