Dan Virkstis (202) 224-4515
Baucus Unveils Legislation to Provide Tax Certainty, Relief to Middle Income Families
Finance Chairman’s proposal makes permanent middle income tax rates, child tax credit, fixes estate tax and AMT for all Americans
Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today announced legislation that would make existing tax breaks permanent for working families and individuals including the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, and lower middle-income tax rates among other provisions. The measures were originally passed as part of tax legislation in 2001 and 2003, but are set to expire in 2010. Baucus unveiled his proposal after a Finance Committee hearing today that examined the affect of the current economy and the U.S. tax code on America’s middle class.
“Today we’re offering a piece of certainty during an uncertain time for millions of hard- working, honest Americans. These measures are not excessive or outrageous, but timely and targeted, and will build on earlier efforts to stabilize the economy,” Baucus said. “By guaranteeing a little extra cash in the pocket of working moms and dads, and by making sure that the AMT and the estate tax can move with the economy, we avoid sweeping tax increases for millions of American families. By promising spouses tax fairness in marriage, giving help to those helping others through adoption, and by giving lower-wage workers confidence at a critical time, we can restore our footing, and begin to climb back to a position of national strength and economic security.”
Original co-sponsors of the Baucus legislation include Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Charles Schumer (D-NY).
Elements of the Baucus proposal include:
- Permanent protection for more than 20 million Americans from being hit by the alternative minimum tax.
- A measure to make permanent the 10, 25, and 28 percent individual tax rates, as established by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.
- Permanence of the income eligibility threshold for the child tax credit, recently set at $3,000 by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, to give families up to $1,000 for every child under age 17.
- For taxpayers in the 10, 15, 25, and 28 percent tax brackets, a proposal to make permanent a reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends, as established in the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Act of 2003 and extended by the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.
- Permanence of the marriage penalty relief provision, so that married couples will not be taxed more severely filing jointly than they would as two single persons filing separately.
- Estate tax relief, making permanent 2009 levels for taxation of family possessions and property. The measure would also index exemption amounts for inflation.
- Makes permanent the 45 percent credit rate for the refundable earned income tax credit for lower wage taxpayers with three or more children, as passed in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Permanent expanded assistance for families that adopt a child including a $10,000 tax credit per eligible child.
- Makes permanent the 35 percent credit rate for child care expenses up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for two or more children.
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