Tester votes to create jobs by repealing business tax

Senator highlights support for repealing 3% withholding tax on contractors

(HAVRE, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester this week is highlighting his support for bipartisan legislation that cuts red tape for Montana’s contractors, allowing them to grow and create more jobs.

Tester recently voted in the Senate to repeal a requirement that federal, state and local governments withhold 3 percent of all payments to contractors.  The measure is now due for a vote in the House of Representatives.

Tester said Montana contractors rely on receiving full and timely payment for goods and services in order to cover all their expenses and bid on new projects.

“The last things the construction industry needs are measures that will make it harder for construction firms to hire, raise capital, invest in new equipment and, ultimately, succeed,” said Cary Hegreberg, the executive director of the Montana Contractors Association.  “Unfortunately, a new federal tax withholding measure will devastate an already hard-hit construction industry.  We appreciate Senator Tester stepping forward and supporting this critical bill for Montana’s contractors.”

“As Montana’s contractors look to expand and secure more work, Congress needs to clear a path that makes is easier for them to create more jobs,” Tester said.  “Now is not the time to throw roadblocks in front of Montana’s small businesses.  I will keep working to get this burdensome provision permanently off the books.”

Originally passed by Congress in 2005 to combat tax evasion, the withholding provision has been delayed twice in the last three years and is now slated to go into effect in January of 2013.  The provision affects businesses working with governments that have annual budgets of $100 million or more.   

Tester’s bipartisan bill will be paid for by revoking $39 billion in unused federal funds.

Tester’s strong support for small businesses and contractors includes his votes to repeal the “1099” tax reporting requirement, which added onerous costs and paperwork for small businesses, and his Level Playing Field Act that sought to open federal contracting opportunities for small businesses.

More than 1,700 Montana companies and individuals have also attended Tester’s small business workshops dedicated to helping small businesses grow and create jobs.  Tester’s October 7 event focused on assisting Montana businesses find and secure contracting opportunities.

Text of Tester’s bill is available online HERE.