Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today issued the following statement after Senate passage of H.R.2, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which would raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over a 26-month period. The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 94-3.

"I am glad Republicans were able to strengthen a minimum wage increase with tax relief and regulatory reform for small businesses so they can continue to grow and create jobs for more Americans," Thune said. "I would have liked to see even more tax relief in this package, and I will continue to work to lower taxes for small businesses and all South Dakotan taxpayers, as tax relief is a proven generator of economic growth and job creation."

The House-passed minimum wage increase legislation did not include any small business tax relief.
Statistics on Small Businesses:
  • Small businesses employ half of all private sector employees and created between 60 and 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade, according to the Small Business Administration.

  • As of 2005, there were more than 20,000 small businesses in South Dakota employing over 60 percent of the state's non-farm workforce.

The following tax relief provisions were included in the Senate-passed legislation:
  • Expensing- A one-year extension of a provision allowing small businesses to combine as much as $100,000 in expenses into one annual tax deduction.

  • Leasehold Improvements- An extension through March 31, 2008, of the provisions that allow property owners to more quickly deduct the cost of making improvements to a restaurant or to leased property. Also, extends the provision to apply to improvements made to owner-occupied retailer space and for the construction of new restaurants.

  • Cash Method of Accounting- A permanent change to the tax code that will allow more businesses to simplify their bookkeeping by allowing them to use the cash method of accounting for tax purposes.

  • S Corp Reforms- A modification to the standards that allow small businesses to qualify for or stay within the S Corp tax rules.

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit- A five-year extension of the tax credit provided to employers who hire workers who have experienced barriers to entering the workforce. Also, a modification to the work opportunity tax credit to include a tax credit for employing veterans disabled after the September 11, 2001 attacks.