Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today cosponsored The Taxpayer Certainty Act, which would make permanent the tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003. The legislation would prevent the largest tax increase in American history, which goes into effect automatically at the end of the year unless Congress acts to stop it.
"Raising taxes during an economic crisis is like looting a burning house," said Rehberg, a member of the House Liberty Caucus. "I've heard from countless Montana small business owners who could create new jobs, but instead are paralyzed by the uncertainty of new regulations combined with a higher tax liability in the future. By preserving this tax relief, we can create the economic stability that promotes job growth."
Without this bill, much of the tax relief passed in 2001 and 2003 will expire at the end of the year, generating the largest single tax increase in American history. All Americans, rich and poor, will owe more.
First, the 10 and 15 percent tax brackets will be combined into a 15 percent bracket. The 25 percent rate will increase to 28 percent, the 28 percent rate will increase to 31 percent, the 33 percent rate will increase to 36 percent and the 35 percent rate will increase to 39.6 percent. All taxpayers, from the lowest to the highest incomes, will pay more in taxes.
For married couples, the current standard deduction equal to twice the single taxpayer standard deduction will decrease to only 167 percent of the single standard deduction, restoring the marriage penalty. In tax year 2007, the latest available statistics from the IRS, there were 204,146 jointly-filed tax returns in Montana.
The child tax credit is scheduled to decrease from $1,000 to $500 per child. In tax year 2007 there were 98,400 children claimed under this credit.
Capital gains tax rates are currently 15 percent and 5 percent, but will increase to 20 percent and 10 percent. Dividends, now taxed at the capital gains rates for individuals, will now be taxed as regular income, thereby increasing taxes on dividends by as much as 164 percent.
The Death Tax is eliminated in 2010, but will return in 2011 at the 2001 level of a maximum tax rate of 55 percent with a $1 million exemption without action from Congress.
"These taxes are more than numbers," said Rehberg. "They are lost opportunities for Montana families to buy an appliance, repair a car or even take a well-earned vacation. Increased taxes are lost opportunities for Montana small businesses to hire new employees. Every dollar that goes to the IRS is a dollar taken out of the economy at a time when we can least afford it."