As a general contractor who hires many subcontractors, who have employees, I feel that it is important for them to be able to provide those employees health benefits. However, I believe it is unfair for the government to tax these employers’ income and then in turn take another tax on their contribution to their employees’ benefits. How is it fair to tax them double on an investment in their own company?

I urge members of Congress to pass the Health Insurance Tax Relief Act of 2019. This tax was one of the largest tax increases in the Affordable Care Act, and it has only become more costly over time. It was suspended in 2017 and 2019; now it is incumbent upon our elected representatives to delay it again before it returns in January.

I know many small-business owners in Maine, almost all of whom say rising health care premiums are their No. 1 concern for their future growth. Expanding means hiring new workers, and the health insurance tax means it will be more expensive to insure them.

The tax will impact millions of small businesses nationwide and threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs. Those who remain employed will pay more – a study by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman reported that the tax would cost the average family about $5,000 over the next 10 years. For working-class families in communities like Dresden, that will take a large toll on the household budget.

The clock is ticking. Can we count on Maine’s members of Congress to provide relief before the end of the year?

Jeffrey Pierce

Dresden

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