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Businesses Steer Clear of Payroll Tax Fight

David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, said his group also wants the payroll tax cut extension. But, he added, Its probably not, in the long run, good policy. Its running the risk of putting the Social Security trust fund in jeopardy.

French also said retailers have found it difficult to measure the true benefit of the payroll tax break. While it does put cash back into consumers pockets, for much of the year, high energy costs eroded that, he said.

The problem with short-term tax relief, he noted, is that now were looking at a cliff if it expires.

One tax lobbyist, who noted that business interests dont want to be used in the bitter payroll tax fight, said K Street has higher tax priorities, including extending the popular tax credits for companies doing research and development. These corporate stakeholders worry that the payroll tax debate may take away attention from those higher priorities.

There has been some difficulty gaining traction on those, the lobbyist said. I just dont know what is viable at this point.

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