Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform


Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund


Left-Wing Tax Reform Advocacy Group

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Businesses for Tax Reform is a left-of-center organization critical of the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA). 1 Backed by liberal donors through the 501(c)(4) group Sixteen Thirty Fund managed by left-of-center philanthropic consultancy Arabella Advisors, Businesses for Tax Reform advocates for left-of-center tax policies. 23


Businesses for Tax Reform is funded by Sixteen Thirty Fund under the liberal donor strategy group Arabella Advisors. It does not disclose its funding on its website, and no public information is available as of October 2019 for funding sources which may exist outside of Sixteen Thirty Fund. 4


Businesses for Tax Reform opposed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), arguing that the TCJA benefited large businesses at the expense of small business owners. 5

The organization has several goals and two specific policy proposals. 6 The first proposal is a tax credit for small businesses qualified as “pass-through,” or small businesses which pay no corporate taxes because taxes are levied on the business owner’s personal income taxes. 7 The second is tax code simplification for small businesses.

The group also promotes “tax equity for the self-employed,” which is not defined on its website. It has a number of specific critiques of the components of the TCJA, including the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate. 8

Business for Tax Reform has conducted two national surveys of small business owners related to the TCJA. The first was released on March 1, 2018. A total of 385 people in four Senate battleground states – Arizona, Nevada, Maine, and Tennessee – were surveyed, and while most supported the tax law, they also did not believe it would benefit them. The poll was conducted by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling. 9

The second poll was released in March 2019 and focused on how small businesses surveyed had not found benefit in the law. 10 The poll was conducted online.

Coalition Partners

Businesses for Tax Reform names a number of coalition partners on its website. The majority are ethnic-oriented business groups such as Hispanic Chambers of Commerce or Black Chambers of Commerce. 11


Business for Tax Reform lists three people in its leadership. 12

Ron Busby is president of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. 13 The Daily Caller reported in 2011 that Busby founded U.S. Black Chambers in 2010 with the implicit support of then-president Barack Obama, and that it was a competitor of the more established National Black Chamber of Commerce organization. 14 Busby’s son interned in the Obama White House, at the Center for American Progress, and for Google. In all of the positions, he focused on liberal agenda items. 15

Frank Knapp is president and co-founder of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce and president of the public relations firm The Knapp Agency. Knapp has opposed expanded oil drilling, supported Obamacare, and been an outspoken opponent of the TCJA. 16 He has also advocated for increased corporate taxes to pay for federal infrastructure projects. 17

Anne Zimmerman is owner of Zimmerman and Company CPAs. She has been involved in business leadership organizations for many years, and was invited to the Obama White House in those roles. 18 She advocated for Congress to extend long-term health insurance in one prominent 2014 meeting. 19


  1. Businesses for Tax Reform, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  2. Business for Tax Reform, What We Want, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  3. Open Corporates, Sixteen Thirty Fund, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  4. Hayden Ludwig, “Big money in dark shadows: Arabella Advisors’ half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ network,” April 17, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  5. Twitter, Business for Tax Reform page, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  6. Business for Tax Reform, What We Want, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  7. Erica York, “Pass-Through Businesses Q&A,” May 9, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  8. Businesses for Tax Reform, “The Facts About the Tax Law & Your Small Business,” Accessed October 4, 2019.
  9. Businesses for Tax Reform, “Poll: Tax law won’t help small businesses grow,” March 1, 2018. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  10. Businesses for Tax Reform, “Poll: New tax law a dud for small businesses,” April 10, 2019. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  11. Businesses for Tax Reform, Who We Are, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  12. Businesses for Tax Reform, Who We Are, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  13. Asian American Business Roundtable, Ron Busby, Sr., Accessed October 4, 2019.

  14. Jonathan Strong, “Did Obama ‘kneecap’ prominent black business group for dissent?” April 27, 2011. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  15. LinkedIn, Ron Busby profile, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  16. South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Frank Knapp writings, Accessed October 4, 2019.
  17. Frank Knapp, “Frank Knapp: Obama’s tax plan is a bad bargain for small business,” August 14, 2013. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  18. Ben Petracco, “Anderson Township woman talks unemployment with President, VP,” February 3, 2014. Accessed October 4, 2019.
  19. Small Business Majority, “Small Business Majority Network Council Member meets with President, VP to discuss long-term unemployment,” January 31, 2014. Accessed October 4, 2019.
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