This is in response to Don Brunell’s article in the May 8, 2013 edition of the Dispatch. In that article he laments the impact that the state B&O tax has on small businesses. His point is that the B&O tax is levied on “gross income, regardless of whether a business makes a profit”. Thus a business whose expenses exceed it’s revenue, i.e., is losing money, is required to pay B&O tax on the total amount of the money coming in. Indeed, that does not seem right, either on a fairness scale or just from a public policy point of view that would encourage business success.
Given Mr. Brunell’s sympathy for the money-losing business tax payer, one might reasonably conclude he is in favor of an income tax, where the tax is only levied on profits. One would be wrong. On May 17, 2010 the Bonney Lake & Sumner Courier-Herald on-line edition published an opinion piece by Brunnell in which he extensively and vigorously argues against the potential impact of state income taxes that would have been imposed by Initiative 1098 had it been approved.
Apparently Mr. Brunnell’s real position is that businesses should be exempt from taxes so they can enjoy the benefits of public services and infrastructure that only individuals pay for. What a deal.