U.S. Representative Tom Allen issued the following statement on his vote yesterday in favor of H.R. 7005, legislation to protect millions of American families from paying increased taxes under the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT):
"Yesterday's action will protect more than 70,000 Maine tax filers from an unexpected and costly tax increase. Congress established the AMT decades ago to make sure that the very wealthiest could not use loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. Congress never intended it to apply to middle class families, but without the bill passed yesterday, more than 25 million Americans would have gotten a costly tax increase.
"I believe we need a more permanent solution to the AMT and much more tax relief for the middle class. I have introduced the Middle Class Opportunity Act, to fix the AMT for two years and give Congress time to correct the problem permanently. My legislation also doubles the tax credit for the first year of a child's life and expands the dependent care tax credit to include care for parents or grandparents who are incapable of caring for themselves but who do not reside with the taxpayer. Because rising costs have made it more difficult for many middle income families to send their kids to college, my bill combines three existing education tax incentives into one simple, easy-to-understand Education Tax Credit, available for up to $2,500 per student, with up to three students eligible per household and includes expenses for tuition, fees, and textbooks.
"Finally, with fuel costs soaring, I introduced The Home Heating Fuels Cost Relief Act, legislation to provide a $2,000 refundable tax credit families can use to offset their fuel costs this winter.
"Middle class families across Maine and America are struggling to cope with the twin threats of rising costs and shrinking incomes. I am committed to putting them first for a change."