Senator Thom Tillis needs to prevent the health insurance tax from coming into effect again in 2020. This tax impacts health plans purchased by small businesses. It results in thousands of dollars in higher annual costs for businesses that offer health insurance. For my hardware store, this kind of increase can mean the difference between being able to pay a wholesaler’s bill or not. It is essential that Congress delays the HIT before the end of its current session.

Employees are one of the most significant expenses for small businesses, so some may have to delay hiring to compensate for the increased costs from the HIT. In addition, many will have to decrease coverage as a result of this tax, or they may have to lay off employees. They certainly won’t be able to attract new ones if they can’t afford to offer health coverage.

The HIT will have a huge effect on the economy of areas that have a lot of small businesses. Most of the businesses here in our resort community are small, independent businesses. I estimate that our community relies on small businesses for about 85 percent of the local economy. Imagine what an impact the HIT will have on us. Simply put, it will stop the economy in its tracks.

It’s unfair that small businesses are burdened with this tax while large corporations go unaffected. The HIT is just one more way that things are unjust to small business owners like myself. We must urge Tillis to do his part to ensure the Congress suspends the HIT in 2020.

Stephanie Johnson

Blowing Rock

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