By  on January 31, 2012

WASHINGTON — President Obama sent a proposed legislative agenda to Congress on Tuesday aimed at accelerating start-up and small business growth through a series of tax cuts, making it easier for companies to go public and expanding access to new capital.

“One year ago today, I called for an all-hands-on-deck effort to ensure that America remains the best place on Earth to turn a great idea into a successful business,” Obama said. “The private sector responded, with the Startup America Partnership launching new entrepreneurial networks all across the country. Today, we’re taking new steps that build on that progress, and I urge Congress to send me a common-sense bipartisan bill that does even more to expand access to capital and cut taxes for America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

The “Startup America Legislative Agenda” contains four tax breaks for small businesses and four proposals that will help expand access to capital, as well as a provision to address immigrant visa backlogs.

Congress will be tasked with crafting legislation and passing it. Republicans have been loathe to support many of Obama’s proposals and a highly polarized Congress could make the path difficult for the package’s advancement.

Among the president’s top priorities in helping small companies and start-ups is a provision that would permanently eliminate the capital gains tax on key investments by small businesses.

The Obama administration is also seeking to create a 10 percent income tax credit on new payroll for small businesses through either hiring or increased wages, and to permanently double the amount of start-up expenses that entrepreneurs can deduct from their taxes to $10,000 from $5,000. Another provision would extend for one year a 100 percent first-year depreciation for qualified property that is operational before Jan. 1.

Obama’s proposed package includes several provisions to make it easier for small companies and start-ups to make an initial public offering, as well as an expansion of a government small business investment program to $4 billion from $3 billion.

“It is a symbol of how important it is for us to spur entrepreneurship, to help start-ups, to move aggressively so that we can assure more companies that create the most jobs in our economy are getting a leg up from the various programs that we have in our government,” Obama said Tuesday before a Cabinet meeting. “I mentioned at the State of the Union that there have been discussions, bipartisan discussions between Republicans and Democrats, about a whole set of measures that can accelerate financing to start-up companies, can provide tax breaks to start-ups and small businesses that are interested in either hiring more workers or increasing their wages, that looks at innovative ways for them to raise capital. And my expectation and hope is that they will get a bill together quickly, that they will pass it and get it on my desk. I will sign it right away and I would like to see that bill signed this year."

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