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Allen Talks Regulations, Taxes with Alexandria Business Owners

U.S. Senate candidate George Allen (R) held a roundtable discussion concerning the economy on Monday morning in Old Town.

U.S. Senate candidate George Allen (R) visited the Old Town law offices of Mark Allen on Monday morning for a roundtable discussion with local business owners.

The group, which represented real estate, banking and retail services industries among others, expressed concerns over government regulations, including the President’s federal health care tax law. Many said the regulations have substantially limited their businesses.

“This year, we did cut back,” said Adnan Hamidi, owner of Alexandria Cupcake on King Street. “And what we cut back on was advertising. … The uncertainty of the economy is scaring a lot of small business owners.”

Hamidi, who also owns a kitchen cabinet business, said increased insurance premiums and tough mandates have made President Barack Obama's health care reforms a grave concern for entrepreneurs.

Allen, who operates his own small business out of a Princess Street office, laid out his goals of simplifying the tax code with an aim on “a hassle-free government” with more freedom to invest and create jobs.

“It should not be adversarial,” he said. “The senate is not listening to job-creating men and women.”

Allen also said he wanted to promote health savings accounts as a counter to Obamacare, which he said he hoped to repeal. He said the accounts could be taken from job-to-job without concerns over pre-existing conditions. He added the accounts would also allow small businesses to align across state lines for insurance and give states increased flexibility to manage Medicaid.

Several business owners participating in Monday’s roundtable also expressed concerns over the estate tax.

“Each generation, the estate tax takes a chunk,” said Hunt Burke, the CEO and chairman at Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust, Virginia’s oldest bank dating back to 1852. “And we become less and less of a family business.”

The former Virginia governor responded saying he believed “death should not be a taxable event” and that doing so “just seems wrong” and that it was tough on small business owners.

Allen, who is trailing Democrat Tim Kaine according to a recent Washington Post poll, said his race was one of four this fall (counting contests in Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota) that would determine if there’s a change in leadership in the Senate.

It’s a Senate, he said, that hasn’t passed a budget in a span of time that has produced three generations of iPads. 

“If Kaine wins, there’s no change,” he said.

Tom Hanton October 02, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Allen offers an excellent balance of business knowledge, state government experience, and federal government experience. The past three years is an example of what happens when you let some one (the president) with NO useful real-life experience try to lead our country. He has been a disaster for America. Not to mention three years without a budget - just government spending on accelerating cruise control that increases our debt and further burdens the economy with higher and higher interest payments for debt held outside the country.
Cathryn S October 03, 2012 at 01:26 PM
No Employer Mandate, Exempts Small Firms from Employer Responsibility Requirement The Affordable Care Act does not include an employer mandate. In 2014, as a matter of fairness, the Affordable Care Act requires large employers to pay a shared responsibility fee only if they don’t provide affordable coverage and taxpayers are supporting the cost of health insurance for their workers through premium tax credits for middle to low income families. The law specifically exempts all firms that have fewer than 50 employees – 96 percent of all firms in the United States or 5.8 million out of 6 million total firms – from any employer responsibility requirements. These 5.8 million firms employ nearly 34 million workers. More than 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees already offer health insurance to their workers. Less than 0.2 percent of all firms (about 10,000 out of 6 million) may face employer responsibility requirements. Many firms that do not currently offer coverage will be more likely to do so because of lower premiums and wider choices in the Exchange.

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