Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Begins To Move In Senate, But Slowed By Objections
Finance Chairman says time is now to act on AMT “patch” for millions of Americans
Washington, DC – Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) says legislation that
would protect 19 million Americans from the alternative minimum tax (AMT) is beginning to
move in the Senate, but expressed disappointment at new objection by the Senate Minority
Leader that prevented swift votes on an AMT bill. The AMT was created in 1969 to keep
wealthy people from avoiding taxes altogether, but has started to hit working families instead. Recognizing that an objection would be forthcoming to another request for immediate votes on AMT relief, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moved to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to H.R 3996, the House-passed AMT bill. Baucus said on the Senate floor today that he is preparing to offer an amendment with one year of AMT relief and two years of extensions for expiring tax provisions, with the “extender” provisions fully offset. He lodged an objection on behalf of the majority to a proposal that would have introduced additional tax measures into the AMT debate. Baucus released the following statement late today:
“We are down to the wire. The time has come for the Senate to act to ensure that 19
million households do not get stuck paying the AMT.
“We’ve already missed one deadline. The IRS sent the 2007 tax forms to the printer
on November 16. We tried to get something done before then. But the other side of
the aisle would not let us proceed. Just a few short weeks from now, taxpayers will
begin filling out their tax returns. We need to move now to ensure that millions of
Americans receive this tax relief.
“If the votes are not there for the House bill, the Baucus-Grassley compromise will
do the job. Our compromise would keep the AMT from hitting any new taxpayers
for 1 more year. And our compromise would extend for 2 years a number of other
popular expiring tax provisions, as well.
“The AMT affects taxpayers in all 50 states. Our compromise would keep the
number of taxpayers subject to this horrible stealth tax from expanding. Without
this kind of an AMT patch, 19 million more people will have an increased tax
liability for the 2007 tax year. No one wants that.
“And the sooner that we address expiring provisions, the sooner that we can turn to
tax reform. We all know that Congress will need to address major tax reform in
2009. We should begin working on hearings, debate, and new ideas for that effort
“We must act now. We must act, because if we don’t, 19 million more Americans
will pay the AMT. We must act, because if we don’t, both business and individual
taxpayers won’t get the tax benefits they have come to rely on. We must act,
because that’s what the American people sent us here to do.”
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