Governor Perry Wants to Help Small Businesses

Small businesses are pleading with Texas law makers to give them a tax break... And governor Rick Perry is backing them up.

First it was a surplus tax, which was a tax on the business' profit. Then came the margins tax, a tax businesses pay on their gross receipts, not profits. And now, there's talks of changing the small business tax laws again. Almost as quickly as the chocolate is flowing out of the fountain at Shakolad, money is flowing out of DeRima Johnson's bank account and towards the Texas Margins tax. The chocolate factory's owner says she is paying "more than [she'd] like to pay." But that could soon be changing if Governor Rick Perry gets his way. "We need to be bold and create more jobs for Texas."

For Perry, being bold means asking legislators to bump up the margins tax exemption from $300 thousand to $1 million, meaning instead of paying taxes on gross receipts over $300 thousand, business owners would only pay if that total is over $1 million. CMMA CPA Gary Mitchell says, "I'm sure that's a welcome change for small business owners who now may not be subject to the tax at all." It surely would be a welcome change for DeRima, who says if Perry's suggestion becomes law, it would really shake up her world in a very big way. "If I had to pay less taxes we could do more in the community, we could hire some more help, we could buy more inventory. So if they lower this, it's not just me who benefits. The entire community gets something out of it too."

Shakolad isn't the only store that would benefit. We spoke with several other area businesses on the phone who all say this new tax revision is just what they need to revitalize the economy. Critics of the plan, though, say Texas needs this business tax money badly and decreasing tax revenue now, in a rough economy, is not the answer.