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Maine Small Business Coalition wary of Senate GOP tax plan

The Maine Small Business Coalition is calling on Senator Susan Collins to oppose the Senate Republican tax plan, while other state leaders say it would stimulate growth.

AUBURN (WGME) -- The Maine Small Business Coalition is calling on Senator Susan Collins to oppose the Senate Republican tax plan, while other state leaders say it would stimulate growth.

Jim Wellehan has been running his family's shoe business since the 1960s. The company, Lamey Wellehan, puts about 100 people to work across six stores.

Wellehan joined other business owners Thursday morning, alongside the Maine Small Business Coalition, to voice concerns about the plan.

"The overwhelming majority of the tax breaks in this bill that Congress is considering right now go to individuals and corporations making more than $200,000 a year," said Will Ikard, director of the coalition.

Their biggest concern, though, is healthcare. The Senate bill would repeal the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act that requires everyone to have insurance, resulting in millions losing coverage and higher premiums.

"Our people would probably lose some of their coverage," said Wellehan. "We'd try to make it up, but it's tough to do."

"If I were in their shoes, I would have a similar concern," said David Clough, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

He said NFIB is focused on the tax portion of the bill and that is good news for small business.

"The tax code is very complicated," said Clough. "They want to see it simplified and they want to see the tax burden lessened."

Companies like Windham Millworks tell CBS 13 they've been held back by the current tax code and need reform.

"The Tax Foundation, for example, believes this legislation couldcreate over 2,000 to 3,000 full-time equivalent jobs," Clough said.

The Senate is expected to vote late Thursday or on Friday.

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