March 08,2001

Grassley Urges Comprehensive Family Tax Relief

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, today saidhe is committed to comprehensive family tax relief addressing the child tax credit, the marriage taxburden and the alternative minimum tax. Grassley’s comments came after a hearing at which expertstestified about the federal tax hardships facing families.

“Families deserve red-carpet treatment from the tax code. Instead they get door-mattreatment,” Grassley said. “That has to change. If we want to preserve families, we have to easethe tax code’s tight grip on family income.”

Grassley said he supports President Bush’s focus on ways to reduce the income tax burdenof working families through a doubling of the child credit to $1,000 and to help married couples.Grassley said the $500 child credit came in1997 after years of attempts in Congress. As Bushrecognizes, a $1,000 credit wouldn’t cover the costs of raising a child, but it would provide muchneededassistance, Grassley said.

Tax relief for married couples also has been a long-time subject of debate in Washington,Grassley said. He predicted that Congress and the President will act on marriage tax relief this yearbecause there’s a growing consensus in favor of income tax relief for married couples – both thosewho have a parent stay at home, as well as those couples in which both the husband and wife work.

Grassley said he was pleased that the House Democrats’ tax cuts proposal embraces the ideathat the tax code should help marriage regardless of whether one parent or two parents work. “I’mconfident we can find common ground in this area, and that we’ll report legislation that promotesand strengthens marriage by providing income tax relief to married couples, including marriageswith a stay-at-home parent and marriages in which both husband and wife work,” Grassley said.

Grassley said addressing the alternative minimum tax also is important. This tax will affectan increasing number of middle-income families, according to expert witnesses. If unaddressed, itwill pose undue burdens on a greater number of taxpayers and could counteract the positive effectsof other family tax relief, Grassley said.

“These topics might seem complex, but the idea is very simple,” Grassley said. “Tax reliefshould allow parents to keep more of the money they’ve earned. It should make a real differenceto parents working to give their children a better life.”