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House Of Representatives Increases Payroll Cutoff For Proposed Healthcare Tax

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 8/3/2009

The House of Representatives just increased the payroll cutoff determining which small businesses are required to provide healthcare or pay a penalty tax.

With reports of pay-or-play plans, tax cutoffs and rising healthcare costs filling the news, for small businesses the new health insurance proposal may mean the difference between staying afloat and going under. >

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The proposed plan, under the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, would require small businesses with payrolls of less than $250,000 to offer health coverage to their employees or face up to an 8 percent payroll tax.

Many small business owners have voiced their concern over the plan, saying it is unfair to small businesses and jeopardizes the economic health of what has been called the backbone of the American economy.

Considering the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, many small businesses simply cannot afford to provide coverage for their employees. The alternative would also cost them dearly - an average of $34,880 per firm, according to the New York Times.

Yet perhaps Washington has been listening to Main Street.

The House of Representatives has just reached an agreement increasing the payroll cutoff from $250,000 to $500,000 for the penalty tax, and raising the cutoff for the 8 percent maximum from $400,000 to $750,000, reported the Times.

However, a majority of small business owners - 60 percent - oppose any legislation that requires employers to provide health insurance, according to the latest Discovery Small Business Watch.

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