On the deadline for filing federal taxes, Congressman Bright took the opportunity to highlight legislation he has supported to lower the tax burden for individuals and small businesses.
"Taxes are already high enough, and I am committed to lowering the tax burden for all Americans and the small businesses that create up to 80% of American jobs," Bright said. "In the past 16 months, I have opposed tax increases and offered my own solutions to bring tax relief to my constituents. I am committed to opposing any future tax increases on American citizens and businesses and continuing to look for ways to responsibly lower the tax burden on our country."
Below is a summary, with links to press releases, of some of the legislation Congressman Bright has supported to bring tax relief to individuals and small businesses.
The HIRE Act. Now signed into law, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act exempts employers from paying payroll taxes (6.2% for the first $106,800 of wages) for previously unemployed workers hired between February 3rd, 2010 and the end of the year. It also provides a $1,000 tax credit for each new employee hired under this program who remains employed longer than a year.
Increased Deductions for Small Business Capital Expenses. Congressman Bright sponsored H.R. 361 and H.R. 4655, which call for increased tax deductions for small businesses making capital investments. This legislation was including in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009, and extended again in the HIRE Act in 2010.
Extending the Homebuyer's Tax Credit. Congressman Bright sponsored legislation to extend and expand the homebuyer's tax credit (H.R. 3825). In November, Congressman Bright voted for a bill that extended the homebuyer's tax credit through the end of April, and expand it to many current homeowners. H.R. 3458 also allowed businesses suffering losses in 2008 and 2009 to carry back those losses against income earned in any of the previous five years. The reduced tax burden will allow them to keep or add jobs even as the economy continues to struggle.
Opposing the Estate Tax. Congressman Bright believes the estate tax should be permanently repealed. That's why he voted against a bill that would have permanently extended the estate tax (H.R. 4154).
Helping Entrepreneurs Save for Their Futures. In an effort to help future small business owners save for their businesses, Congressman Bright sponsored the Small Business Start-Up Savings Account Act. If passed, H.R. 4309 would allow small business owners to open savings accounts, similar to Roth IRAs, that would yield a higher rate of return and earnings would not be taxed when withdrawn. Congressman Bright has also co-sponsored legislation that would increase the tax deduction for small business start-up expenses from $5,000 to $20,000 for 2009 through 2011 (H.R. 1552).
Extending Tax Relief. Congressman Bright voted for the Tax Extenders Act of 2009, which would have extended many popular and widely-used tax breaks. H.R. 4213 calls for extending tax breaks for parents with students in college, teachers, business research and development, biodiesel and natural gas production and use, and employers who hire national guard and reservists, among many other provisions.
Keeping the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts. The tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 under President Bush are set to expire at the end of this year. Congressman Bright thinks that allowing tax rates to increase while the economy continues to recover from a recession is a bad idea. In January, Congressman Bright sent a letter to President Obama encouraging him to extend these tax breaks, which provided tax relief for nearly all American citizens, for at least three years.
Extending Tax Relief for Elementary and Secondary Teachers. Congressman Bright co-sponsored legislation to extend the tax deductions elementary and secondary school teachers receive for out-of-pocket classroom expenses. These provisions were initially included in the Bush Tax Cuts, which would expire at the end of the year. (H.R. 2329)
Allowing Businesses to Depreciate Property in the First Year. Congressman Bright co-sponsored legislation that would allow small business taxpayers with gross receipts of $5 million or less to elect to expense certain depreciable real property in the year such property is placed in service. The yearly limit $125,000, adjusted for inflation after 2009. (H.R. 3178)
Creating Deductions for Home Offices. The Home Office Deduction Simplification Act would allow a taxpayer who uses a residence to conduct a trade or business a standard tax deduction equal to the lesser of $1,500 or the taxpayer's gross trade or business income derived from the business use of such residence. (H.R. 3615)