DOLE HELPS PASS CRITICAL TAX RELIEF PACKAGE
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole this week voted in favor of a wide-ranging tax relief package, which includes a provision to protect approximately 20 million Americans from a $64 billion Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) hike.
"To spur economic growth and job creation, we must protect businesses and working families from burdensome taxes like the AMT that would wreak havoc on our already-troubled economy," said Dole. "Family budgets that are stressed by high gas and food prices and tightening credit simply cannot afford for the government to demand even more money from them."
According to the Heritage Foundation, failure to address the impending AMT tax increase would result in an average tax hike of $2,800 for 580,017 North Carolinians who would be affected by the AMT in the coming year.
The legislation also includes provisions to roll back over $7 billion in oil company tax breaks to invest that funding in alternative and renewable energy research. The legislation accomplishes some of the goals of legislation Dole introduced in July, the New Clean Energy Tax Extenders Act, although it doesn't go as far as Dole's legislation, which would have repealed roughly $17 billion in tax breaks for oil companies.
"With gas prices hovering around record highs, we need to throw everything and the kitchen sink at our energy crisis, and that includes making major investments in alternative and renewable energy," said Dole. "We must also make better use of America's vast energy resources to lower costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil to build a bridge to our alternative energy future."
Dole also worked to include a measure that helps incentivize donations to feed the hungry by allowing businesses to receive enhanced tax deductions for contributions of food. Additionally, she pushed to extend a provision allowing tax-free distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts for charitable purposes.
Other highlights of the bill include:
Providing a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of plug-in electric vehicles;
Renewing the research and development tax credit to help spur innovation and economic growth; and
Renewing tax relief for higher education costs and teachers who purchase classroom supplies out-of-pocket.
The legislation passed in the Senate Tuesday evening by a vote of 93-2. Negotiations between the House of Representatives and the Senate continue.