February 24,2000

Roth Urges Committee Members to Submit Views and Priorities on Marriage Tax Penalty Relief

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today asked Committee Members for their input as he drafts marriage tax penalty relief legislation. In a letter to all Committee Members, Roth said he will consider their "views and priorities" as he prepares his Chairman's mark. A mark-up has not yet been scheduled.

The text of the letter follows:

The House recently passed H.R. 6, the Marriage Tax Penalty Relief Act of 2000, and the bill is on the Senate Calendar. In the coming weeks, I will be preparing a Chairman's mark on this matter and want to solicit input from all Finance Committee members before making decisions on the proposals in the mark.

My goal is a bi-partisan marriage tax penalty relief package. There are several aspects to consider such as:

1. Phasing out the marriage penalty in the standard deduction;

2. Permitting a married couple to calculate their tax liability as if they were two single taxpayers;

3. Reducing the marriage penalty in the earned income credit; and

4. For a married couple, widen the 15% bracket (or other brackets) so that the income in the bracket is twice that of a single taxpayer.

I would like your views on whether we should proceed on marriage tax penalty relief, and, if so, whether in the same manner as H.R.6, or with a substitute that you might describe.

I look forward to working with you on enacting bi-partisan marriage tax penalty