As reported in the latest True North update, the U.S. Senate recently voted overwhelmingly to repeal a provision of Obamacare so intrusive to small businesses that Obama himself referred to it in his State of the Union speech as “a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses“. The problem with the provision is that it would “require all companies to gather the names and taxpayer identification numbers for every payee and vendor with which they do business and issue 1099 tax forms to any individual or corporation from which they purchase more than $600 worth of goods or services per year“.
Not only would this impose an unnecessary burden on bookkeeping for small businesses, it further involves businesses in the privacy threatening aspects of information gathering associated with our income tax system. The final vote to repeal this monstrosity was 81 – 17. Needless to say, our “Dynamic Dual” representing Vermont in the U.S. Senate voted with the 17 against the repeal of the provision. The vote taking by itself is bad enough, but the real problem is that it reinforces the perception that Vermont is extremely hostile to business. When BOTH of our state’s Senators vote with such a small minority on such a burdensome bill for businesses, potential investors can only conclude that there is “no reason for a rational person to do business in Vermont”. (That is a paraphrase of a quote I read from a business leader talking about the prospects of investing in Vermont)