I am a strong advocate for the taxpayer and have continuously worked to lower taxes for families and small businesses. I believe that people - not bureaucrats in Washington - should be able to keep more of their hard earned money.
In 2001 and again 2003, Congress passed two historic tax relief measures. This legislation cut the unfair marriage penalty; doubled the per-child tax credit; repealed the harmful death tax; reduced the individual tax rates; increased the amount that small businesses can expense; reduced the dividend and capital gain tax rate; and increased the individual AMT exemption amount.
Unfortunately, these provisions are set to expire and the Democrat Leadership has expressed support for implementing what will be the largest tax increase in American history on workers, parents, married couples, small businesses, and those saving for retirement. If this tax relief is allowed to expire, every taxpayer will see an increase by an average of $1,800. In this time of economic uncertainty, one of the worst things we could do to our economy is raise taxes on the American people.
I strongly support reforming the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT was created in 1969 to prevent the wealthiest of taxpayers from taking enough deductions to avoid paying any federal income taxes. Almost 40 years later, it has not been updated. Today, because of inflation and rising property and state income taxes, it is now hitting middle class taxpayers, especially married couples with children. By 2010, the AMT could hit every married couple making $75,000 a year.
In 2007, Congress was able to pass a clean one-year "patch" on the exemption level for the AMT. The bill, H.R. 3996, passed the House by a vote of 352-64, on December 19. It provides for a $66,250 AMT exemption amount for married couples in 2007 (it was $62,550 in 2006, and would drop to $45,000 without a "patch"), and for a $44,350 exemption amount for singles (it was $42,500 in 2006, and would drop to $33,750 without a "patch").
I supported the AMT patch because the congressional leadership dropped the tax increases in the bill that would've hurt our economy. However, a better option is a permanent fix, since patching just sets up the need for another fix for Tax Year 2008.
I have introduced my own bill, the AMT Rate Reduction Act. This bill provides much needed relief to the increasing number of middle class taxpayers who are impacted by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). This proposal offers a common sense, straight forward approach to removing the burden of this tax which today is clearly missing its mark.