Issue Position: Working for Middle Class Tax Cuts
I believe in creating opportunities for our middle-class families to thrive. To do that we need to bring significant tax relief to Upstate New York. Every year, too much of your hard earned money goes to Washington, and I am committed to easing the tax burden for your family.
I strongly advocate permanently extending the 2001 and 2003 middle class tax cuts. In March of 2007, Congress passed the 2008 budget resolution, which places a strong emphasis on extending these tax cuts, including marriage penalty relief, the child tax credit, estate tax reform, the research and development tax credit, and the deduction for state and local sales taxes.
In Congress I have been working to promote middle-class opportunity with targeted middle-class tax cuts. You can learn more below:
Pass the Biggest Middle-Class Tax Cut in History
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) currently penalizes middle-class Americans for raising a family, buying a home and paying their taxes. In 2008, Representative Gillibrand voted to shield 25 million American households, including 70,000 in NY-20, from paying the AMT. Middle class households, small business owners and farmers should never have to pay the tax, and Representative Gillibrand is working in Congress to ensure that there is permanent fix in the tax code.
Give Working Families a Tax Cut (The Family Care Act HR 1871)
In order to pay the bills, approximately two thirds of households have both parents working. Gillibrand's Family Care Act will help parents balance their careers and allow their children to be cared for in a safe and enriching environment. As a mother of a four year old son in day care herself, Congresswoman Gillibrand understands the difficulty of balancing work and family.
Under Congresswoman Gillibrand's bill, families could keep an extra $1,200 at tax time. This legislation will double the tax credit middle-class families can claim for expenses related to child care.
Make College More Affordable for Middle-Class Families (College Affordability Tax Relief Act HR 3338)
In the modern economy, a college education is required for competing for today's good paying jobs. Unfortunately, too many families cannot afford the rising costs in tuition.
To help Upstate New York families achieve their dreams, Rep. Gillibrand introduced a common sense, bipartisan measure that will help Upstate New York families. The College Affordability Tax Relief Act of 2007 increases the college tuition tax deduction for families that earn less than $100,000 per year from $4,000 to $10,000. It also makes the deduction for tuition and related expenses permanent, and indexes the benefits to inflation.
Lower Property Taxes Skyrocketing property taxes have left all middle class families squeezed. Representative Gillibrand understands that homeowners need relief, and she is a lead sponsor of the Property Tax Relief Act of 2007, which will allow all families to deduct their property taxes without itemizing their return.
Representative Gillibrand has been working with state and local leaders to do everything she can to ease the property tax burden on families in the district. She has helped secure over $14 million in grants for the district, which helps alleviate some pressure on local governments' budgets. In addition, she opposes any unfunded mandates that are sent down from the federal government, which places unnecessary strain on state and local governments' budgets, and result in higher property taxes.
Over the past year, Gillibrand has held numerous property tax town hall forums throughout her district in order to hear from constituents about their property and school tax burdens. She has lobbied Governor Paterson about her serious concern about escalating property taxes in New York, and also sent a letter to Tom Suozzi, Chairman of the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, to strongly encourage his Commission to find a comprehensive solution that will reverse the recent sharp increases in property taxes, including finding an alternative funding stream for schools.
Cut Taxes for Small Businesses to Help Create Jobs (Business Tax Relief Act of 2007 HR 976)
An original co-sponsor of the Business Tax Relief Act of 2007, Congresswoman Gillibrand is pushing for incentives to create jobs in our part of New York. This bill was signed into law and gives five tax breaks to small businesses looking to expand and create jobs.
She also co-sponsored the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007 (HR 6), which created a tax incentive for companies to develop alternative energies by eliminating the tax breaks for Big Oil. Furtehrmore, the Economic Stimulus Package that was passed by Congress and championed by Congreswoman Gillibrand contained a provision that doubles the amount small businesses can immediately deduct for capital investments made in 2008. This tax cut will allow small businesses to grow and create new jobs.
Balance the Budget (HJ Res 45)
In order to restore accountability and fiscal discipline to the federal budget process, Rep. Gillibrand introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The need for financial restraint could not be clearer: our national debt is approaching $9 trillion, equivalent to $29,000 for every man, woman and child. Over the past six years, Congress' spending habits have jeopardized our country's fiscal situation, by allowing the national debt to increase by over 60%.
New York families must continuously balance their checkbook. Forty-nine states, including New York, require a balanced budget. An amendment to the Constitution will finally hold the federal government to the same, common-sense standard.