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President Obama Pitches Small-Business Tax Credit In Baltimore

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Donald Davis stands in front of his small business Davis Cranes, which he says won’t be able to use President Obama’s proposed tax breaks.
Cathy Duchamp
Donald Davis stands in front of his small business Davis Cranes, which he says won’t be able to use President Obama’s proposed tax breaks.

By Cathy Duchamp

Visiting East Baltimore today, President Obama lobbied for his plan to create new jobs by providing tax incentives to small businesses. But as he still has some convincing to do.

If you need a new air conditioner installed on a roof, Donald Davis will rent you a crane for the job. He co-owns Davis Cranes in Baltimore's Highlandtown with his brother John. Business has been slow. Davis doesn't think he'll be able capitalize on a $5,000 tax credit to hire a new crane operator.

"If the work's not there you can't hire people," he says. "You can't just build a box and say 'I got it, this is yours, give me the money.' That's not how the business grows."

Okay, so Davis can't create new jobs. Obama's plan would also continue tax breaks for Davis to invest in new cranes. He says he can't afford to do that either. In fact, he's doing just the opposite: riding out the recession using the equipment he's got.

"Just this past year we had two 50-ton cranes we were paying on, they both paid off, and oh what a feeling," he says, laughing.

Davis says on that day he ate a cheese steak sandwich for lunch, instead of baloney.

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