Lawmakers tackle extension of BPT exemption for small businesses

Legislature holds session on Monday, May 24, 2021. (PNC screen capture)

During session today, the legislature tackled a measure that would help small businesses recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Bill 74-36 seeks to permanently increase the gross threshold for limited exemptions on the business privilege taxes for certain small businesses. The measure amends legislation that was passed last year.

As the body convened into the committee of the whole, Department of Revenue and Taxation Director Dafne Shimizu said the previous measure increased exemptions for entities that report gross receipts of $250,000 or less. She said the current law has a sunset provision of 2 years from the date of enactment, which is June 26, 2022, and was retroactively implemented to January 2020.

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Meanwhile, Sen Joe San Agustin, the author of the bill, says the introduction of the measure was in response to the governor’s call to assist small businesses.

“Last year I introduced a measure to amend the limited exemptions of the Dave Santos Act that to this date, allowed our small business community to recover from this pandemic. Earlier this year, during the state of the island address, we heard from the governor asking us to consider repealing the sunset provision and permanently increasing the gross threshold for the limited exemption of the business privilege tax that we enacted last year. This bill addresses that request. And as a result of this bill, we will continue to provide additional assistance to our small business community beyond the devastation of this pandemic — to help families regain their footing on employment and helping our families be more resilient,” San Agustin said.