Bush has made tax cuts the centerpiece of his campaign. He wants to cut the top-marginal personal tax rate to 33 percent from 39.6 percent. His rationale: Encourage entrepreneurship. He also is in support of a permanent research-and-development tax credit and continuing the moratorium on sales taxes for Internet purchases through at least 2006.
According to the small-business lobby, support for reforming or eliminating the estate tax is more important. "Even if you do get the insurance and hire the lawyers [to make a plan for the tax], that's a huge amount of money that could have been invested in the business," says McCracken. Bush supports repeal of the tax. At press time, Gore has come out in favor of raising the family exemption for small businesses. He says that will allow 70 percent of small businesses to pass from one generation to the next without incurring any payment of the tax. At the time that this article went to press, the real nuts and bolts of Gore's plan were still rather sketchy and unclear.
The Gore campaign is primarily playing up tax cuts made during the Clinton administation for entrepreneurial businesses but, in terms of any cuts that Gore has came out in support of for the near future, he has only proposed substantially relief of the estate tax, as well as New Markets and Empowerment Zone credits, research and experimentation tax credits and, lastly, making the R&D tax credit permanent-setting in stone an already existing tax break.