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Is Oprah a Small Business? In the House, She May Be

Stephane De Sakutin/AFP
Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions employed about 400 people before laying off workers last year, so she could qualify for a proposed small-business tax cut despite being worth $2.7 billion.

Those proposed tax cuts, like the bulk of the presidentís jobs agenda, never received a vote on the House floor and were blocked in the Senate by a Republican filibuster of an accompanying millionairesí tax to pay for it.

Other small business tax benefits proposed or signed by the president have been more limited. The tax credit for health care plans bought by small businesses, for example, only goes to companies with fewer than 25 employees where the average salary is less than $50,000.

Defining a small business can be tricky; the Small Business Administrationís Office of Advocacy defines a small business as an independent business with 500 or fewer employees ó exactly as Cantor did. But the SBA has a more restrictive definition for the purposes of determining eligibility for government aid, with limits varying by industry and some based on the number of employees and others by total revenue.

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