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Issue Position: Tax Relief

Issue Position

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American families and businesses pay too much in taxes. That's why I support making President Bush's tax cuts permanent, and other measures such as eliminating the Death Tax and preserving the sales tax deduction for Floridians.

By keeping taxes low, we will ensure families and businesses can make important spending, saving, and investment decisions for their financial futures.

Some of the policies I support that will reduce the tax burden on individuals, families and businesses include:

Making the Tax Cuts Permanent: The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts created over 8.7 million new jobs; allowed businesses to grow by raising the limits on equipment expenses and providing a research and development tax credit; and encouraged investment by cutting the capital gains and dividend income tax rates. These tax cuts fueled our nation's economic growth over the last seven years. I strongly support making the tax cuts permanent (and am a cosponsor of the Tax Increase Prevention Act, which does so) so that families and businesses in Southwest Florida and the rest of the nation can keep more of their hard-earned money and allow our economic growth to continue.

AMT Relief: The alternative minimum tax was originally enacted to impact taxpayers earning the highest incomes. However, because the tax is not currently indexed for inflation, more and more middle-income taxpayers are now being forced to pay the AMT. Congress must pass legislation every year in order to index the tax for inflation and prevent more middle class families from falling under the AMT. I strongly believe that the AMT needs to be fixed - or better yet, repealed - without raising taxes on other families and businesses and have cosponsored legislation to that effect.

Making the Sales Tax Deduction Permanent: Florida is one of several states that do not have an income tax. Several years ago, Congress passed legislation allowing taxpayers in all 50 states to choose to deduct either their state and local income or sales taxes, whichever is highest. I am a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation that makes that option permanent and levels the playing field for Florida taxpayers.

Internet Tax Ban: In 2007 Congress passed, and President Bush signed into law, legislation that extends the Internet access tax ban for seven years. While I'm pleased Congress was able to extend the ban for seven years, I believe we should have made the ban permanent. That's why I am a cosponsor of the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 743), a bipartisan bill that would make the Internet tax ban permanent. Implementing a tax to access the Information Superhighway would affect our ability to exchange and communicate ideas, as well as the ability of American businesses to compete in the global economy.

Death Tax Repeal: The Death Tax, or Estate Tax, unfairly punishes small business owners and their families. Many small businesses - which drive our nation's economy and create jobs - are passed on from generation to generation. Americans who have worked their whole lives to pass down the fruits of their labor to their loved ones should not have to pay a large estate tax. I am a cosponsor of two bills to repeal the death tax, (H.R. 1586 and H.R. 2380). Similar legislation passed the House in the 109th Congress but unfortunately died in the Senate.

Simplifying the Tax Code: Our current tax code is over 17,000 pages long and over 60% of Americans pay someone else to do their taxes for them. Taxpayers deserve a simple and fair tax code. I strongly support the ideals put forth in the Republican Study Committee's American Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which states that taxpayers have a right to less government, a balanced budget, a simple tax code, and every dollar they entrust to the government for their retirement. In addition, I am a cosponsor of the Taxpayer Choice Act (H.R. 3818), which repeals the AMT, establishes a simplified tax that creates only two income tax rates, and allows taxpayers to choose which tax code they want to use to pay their federal income taxes.


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