Economic girl power is sweeping the nation. In 2004 women owned and operated 5.4 million small businesses in the U.S. and generated $167 billion in sales. But in designing her targeted tax relief plan, Governor Napolitano appears to have forgotten the ladies.
In her 2007 budget, Governor Napolitano proposes a health care tax credit of up to $1,000 for small businesses employing two to 24 workers. Unfortunately 81 percent of women-owned businesses are sole proprietorships. In Arizona, that means over 60,000 self-employed women won’t qualify for this tax credit.
The governor says her plan is targeted toward specific policy goals. But, the unavoidable outcome of tinkering with the tax code to engineer desirable results is discriminatory tax policy. While qualifying small businesses get their health care costs reduced, solo women entrepreneurs don’t.
Surely, discriminating against women who start up their own businesses isn’t one of the governor’s specific policy goals.
A better approach to making health insurance affordable and accessible is to offer a tax reduction to all businesses, allowing them to meet their health care needs however they see fit. Until then, entrepreneurial sisters are doing it for themselves.
-Center for Women’s Business Research: “Women-owned firms without employees: A growing economic force”
-Cato Institute: "Combining Tax Reform and Health Care Reform with Large HSAs"
- East Valley Tribune: "Medical Malaise"
- Phoenix Business Journal: “Women’s firms lead non-employer category”