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Playing BRIDGE

Grow your business with help from your own tax dollars.

Sen. John Kerry's BRIDGE Act isn't about building the next Golden Gate, but it may help entrepreneurs seize golden opportunities.

The BRIDGE (Business Retained Income During Growth and Expansion) Act would allow businesses to access capital by temporarily deferring a portion of their taxes. The deferral would be limited to $250,000, repayable with interest over four years. Because of interest, the bill actually generates a net gain of $1.1 billion over 10 years.

The bill (S.1903) was the subject of a hearing held on June 4 in the Senate Finance Committee. Both Kerry and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the other co-sponsor of the bill, are members of that committee, enhancing the chance of passage.

The committee also discussed a second Kerry bill, the Affordable Small Business Stimulus Act (S.1676). Key provisions include increasing the expensing limitation to $35,000 and enhancing the capital gains exclusion for investments in companies with capitalizations up to $100 million.

  • The House passed the Small Business Advocacy Improvement Act of 2002 (H.R. 4231). It makes improvements in the SBA's Office of Advocacy.
  • The Senate passed a slightly altered version of the House's Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002 (H.R. 327). The bill would set up a task force to find ways to make it easier to find regulatory assistance information, comply with requirements and consolidate those requirements across agency lines. The task force would also look into the feasibility of transferring forms electronically.

Stephen Barlas is a freelance business reporter who covers the Washington beat for 15 magazines.

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This article was originally published in the September 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Playing BRIDGE.

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