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Business readers vote to fund schools with kicker

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Our Input respondents are nothing if not an independent bunch. The 718 participants in this month’s survey, conducted by Conkling Fiskum & McCormick, are mostly CEOs and business owners. So at first it might be surprising that the majority votes to eliminate the corporate kicker, use the money for K-12 education, put any surplus revenue in a rainy-day fund and create a sales tax. But Patrick Fleenor, the chief economist for the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tax Foundation based in Washington, D.C., says it makes sense. “Businesses are concerned with their taxes relative to their competitors,” he says. “When you ask businesspeople tax questions, first thing they will ask is how it will affect their bottom line.” Businesses understand the value of a strong K-12 education system to their ability to recruit employees and hire a skilled workforce. They feel at a competitive disadvantage with the current quality of K-12 education, so much so they are willing to take a tax refund out of their own pocket to do it. And that perennial hot potato, the sales tax? Fleenor says that even with the strong support of some of the business community (memo to those independent Input respondents), “It’s almost impossible to change any tax structure.” 

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Research conducted by Conkling Fiskum & McCormick.

 

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