ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX RELIEF ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - June 25, 2008)
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Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 6275, the Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I am proud to have helped craft this very important tax bill that will give much needed relief to millions of American taxpayers.
Unfortunately, over the last several years we have seen tax bills pushed through Congress and signed by the President under the guise of ``relief'' for the middle class and the poorest in the country. I think many in this chamber have now come to recognize that many of these measures presented as tax relief for the middle class were in fact more tax breaks for the richest in society. Today we finally have before us a bill that will give real relief to millions of taxpayers, many of whom are hardworking middle class families.
Specifically, H.R. 6275 provides for a 1-year patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT was developed in the 1970s to ensure that America's wealthiest could not take advantage of the tax code in a way that would allow them to avoid paying taxes altogether. The AMT was not indexed for inflation, however, and without this legislation it will reach into the pocketbooks of middle-class families it was never intended to hit. In my district alone, the AMT could affect 50,000 additional western Wisconsin families this year, many of whom have no idea they face a tax increase. Without this legislation, it is estimated that the AMT will hit an additional 538,970 taxpayers in Wisconsin and 25 million nationally. It is hard for me to think of something more important than protecting 25 million Americans from a tax that was never intended for them.
Most importantly, this bill is fully offset and complies with pay-go rules that the Democratic majority restored at the beginning of this Congress. The legislation provides 1-year relief from the AMT without adding to the deficit by closing loopholes in the tax code, encouraging tax compliance, and repealing excessive government subsidies given to oil companies. These changes establish fairness in the tax code and show that we can provide tax relief without sending the debt on to our children. After years of fiscal recklessness--deficit-financed tax cuts for the wealthy and out-of-control government spending--this bill sets a precedent of fiscally responsible tax reform.
Finally, I would like to thank Chairman RANGEL for putting together this common sense bill that is not only fair but does the right thing by paying for the bill and fixing some inequities in the tax code. I look forward to working with him to reform the tax code and for once and for all put an end to the AMT and Congress having to do a yearly patch.
Again, Mr. Speaker, I am happy to support this sensible and fair tax bill before us today. Protecting millions of taxpayers from being caught by the AMT is of the utmost importance. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 6275.
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