Photo by Jason Cox / KEIZERTIMES

At the tail end of the political season, Rep. Kurt Schrader’s talk at Keizer Rotary Club Thursday, Oct. 28, was all business.

A member of the Small Business Committee, the Canby-based Democrat discussed bills affecting small businesspeople, saying several changes could help them obtain credit and increase tax write-offs.

He said the “credit issue is a big deal” from what he’s been told by small business owners, and noted loan opportunities where 90 percent would be guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. He also said the SBA was assisting refinances of commercial real estate up to $5 million.

Schrader also cited a small business lending fund targeted at small, community banks with assets totaling less than $10 billion. He added businesses seeking loans would be required to submit a business plan.

“We learned a little something from that TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) fiasco,” which was largely aimed at larger financial institutions, Schrader said.

He also said recent changes would make the self-employment health care premiums 100 percent tax deductible, and said some businesses with payrolls averaging $25,000 – $40,000 per employee could qualify for a 35 percent deduction on employer-provided health care.

Asked about extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, Schrader said he didn’t know if cuts for those making more than $250,000 would pass or not, but said extending the reductions for those making less than that “If I were to guess, are going to pass” when Congress re-convenes after the November elections.

After a question from Ron Christopher, he acknowledged sub-S corporations could see their taxes go up.

He also said there’s “a lot of misinformation” surrounding cuts to Medicare, instead calling them “improvements and savings.” He said Medicare spending changes would focus more on outcome rather than the number of procedures.

Asked about extreme partisanship, Schrader called it “a shame … fueled by the extreme positions in both parties.

“The bulk of Congress, Democrat or Republican, they come from districts where there’s no threat to them,” he added.