Democrats offer business tax break

Senate Democrats are hoping to attract the support of Republicans for a bill raising the minimum wage by including language extending the ability of small business to deduct new capital investments from their income.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on Tuesday proposed a new version of minimum wage legislation that includes the new tax language. The new bill, S. 1737, is similar to Harkin's bill from earlier this year that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over three years.

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However, it also includes language that would let small companies continue to expense up to $500,000 worth of capital investments in a single year, through 2016. That's the limit under current law, which expires at the end of this year — if allowed to expire, the limit will fall back down to $25,000.

The Harkin-Reid bill would also continue to allow purchases of land and software to be included in the $500,000 cap.

The addition of this language appears to be an overture to Republicans, who are likely to support these extensions as a way to help small companies. However, Republicans are expected to oppose the bill, as it would create a permanent minimum wage hike, but just a three-year extension of the business expensing language.

A Democratic aide said the Senate is likely to consider the new version of the bill sometime in December.