July 14,2010

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Baucus Examines Options for Extending Middle-Class Tax Cuts

Finance Chairman Surveys 2001-2003 Tax Rates Set to Expire at Year’s End, Prioritizes Extending Middle-Class Tax Cuts

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) examined legislative strategies for extending middle-class tax cuts in light of the impending expiration of tax policies enacted in 2001 and 2003 at a committee hearing he convened today. 

“Americans are struggling to make ends meet, and we need to do all we can to put more money back in the hands of workers, middle-class families and small businesses so our economy can grow,” Baucus said.  “I support extending the middle-class tax cuts permanently, as soon as possible, so working families can keep more of their hard-earned money.”

During today’s hearing, Baucus examined the impacts of the 2001-2003 tax rates on the distribution of income and economic growth, with particular attention to the effects of the policies on middle-class Americans, small businesses and the national debt.  Baucus questioned expert economists and tax practitioners as to the best legislative approach moving forward to address the budget deficit responsibly, while continuing to spur economic recovery through tax cuts for middle-class Americans and small businesses.

Baucus pressed witnesses on the need to ensure that tax rate cuts intended to benefit small businesses really do benefit small businesses and not  a small number of extremely wealthy individuals receiving income from large businesses.  He similarly stressed a focus on the middle-class with regard to individual tax rates and noted the importance of ensuring tax cuts are equitably distributed and designed to benefit these workers and families.

Baucus also discussed the need to address the tax provisions set to expire this year in a manner that will compliment the comprehensive tax reform that is needed over the long-term to make the entire tax code work more fairly and simply and for American taxpayers and the federal budget.

The two major pieces of tax legislation set to expire at the end of 2010 are  the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA).  Baucus expressed the committee’s commitment to continued work to address the impending expiration of these bills and provide the certainty taxpayers need to plan their financial futures.

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