Scott Garrett wants to return the focus to the family budget and has fought for tax relief; strong, pro-growth economic policies; and greater fiscal responsibility in Washington. His pro-taxpayer agenda has earned him awards and recognition from a number of national taxpayers and small business groups, including:
* National Taxpayers Union's Taxpayers' Friend Award
* Citizens Against Government Waste's Taxpayer Hero
* National Federation of Independent Business' Guardian of Small Business
* Americans for Tax Reform's Hero of the Taxpayer Award
* U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Spirit of Enterprise Award
Scott Garrett is the author of leading Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) reform. In 2004, more than 1 out of every 10 tax filers in New Jersey's Fifth District were required to calculate their taxes under this parallel tax universe that was initially established to keep high-income taxpayers from avoiding a significant portion of their tax liability. The average taxpayer in the Fifth District paid an additional $4,113 in taxes in 2004 because of the AMT.
Today, this stealth tax hits solidly middle-class families, such as couples that make more than $58,000 a year and itemize their deductions. If left unaddressed by Congress, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the number of AMT returns will reach 19 million in 2006, and peak at 29 million in 2010 -- that's nearly 20 percent of all tax filers nationwide.
As a member of the House Budget Committee, Scott Garrett has been at the forefront of reforming government budget practices improving accountability to the people to ensure that the focus is always on the family budget, for both today's and future families. He has been a leading proponent of legislation to establish a federal sunset commission so that taxpayers can stop funding programs that have outlived their usefulness or that have simply proven to be ineffective. If Washington is going to take a dollar out of the taxpayer's pocket, it should at least ensure it is spent to the taxpayer's benefit.
Scott Garrett is also a leading advocate for line-item veto authority and earmark reform to cut pork from the federal budget. In fact, the House of Representatives adopted Scott Garrett's approach to earmark reform -- making the process more transparent for spending bills, authorization legislation, and tax laws -- as its first order of business in 2007.
Scott Garrett regularly visits with his Small Business Advisory Council and with businesses of all sizes all across New Jersey's Fifth District to maintain constant contact with local business interests about their concerns and thoughts on economic and regulatory policy that impacts them and their employees.