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Letter to Speaker Boehner

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee and Chairman of the Budget and Spending Task Force for the Republican Study Committee (RSC), called on Speaker Boehner today to include relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in any tax legislation considered by the House of Representatives before the end of the year. Ten of Garrett's colleagues in the House of Representatives signed on to the bipartisan letter. In February, Garrett introduced the H.R. 547, the Individual AMT Repeal Act of 2011, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) on individuals after 2010.

"Time is of the essence. If we do not take action by the end of the year, an unprecedented 34.4 million American taxpayers-- an 8-fold increase from 2011--will be caught in the tentacles of the AMT in 2012," said Garrett after sending the letter to Boehner. "Part of the reason Americans are so pessimistic about their financial future is because they are uncertain how much they will be taxed from one year to the next. With American families struggling to make ends meet during the economic downturn, protecting taxpayers from the threat of a catastrophic tax hike is the right thing to do."

The complete text of the letter to Speaker Boehner is below:

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232 The Capitol
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

December 6, 2011

Dear Speaker Boehner,

Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report projecting the number of households that will be affected in 2012 if Congress fails to address the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The projections are quite startling. According to CRS, without a patch or permanent fix, the number of taxpayers affected by the AMT in 2012 will increase 8-fold over the 2011 level. In the absence of an AMT fix, 34.4 million taxpayers will find their tax bill skyrocket. Given our nation's economic health, and the millions of small businesses, individuals, and families struggling to make ends meet, Congress must address the AMT extension to prevent a catastrophic tax hike.

Because of the particular tax preferences and exemptions disallowed under the AMT, people in certain demographics, such as large families and married couples will be particularly hard hit by this tax. Furthermore, because the AMT does not allow for a deduction of state and local taxes, residents of certain areas of the country will be disproportionately affected by the tax. For example, the states most impacted by the AMT, are California, New York and New Jersey.

As you are undoubtedly aware, while the AMT was originally created to be a backstop for the federal income tax that affected only a small number of high-income taxpayers, it was not indexed for inflation. In previous years, Congress has enacted short-term "patches" to reduce the impact of the AMT on the middle class. The most recent patch, enacted as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, will expire at the end of 2011. As Congress debates whether to extend the current tax rates before the end of the year, we formally request that AMT relief be included in any tax legislation considered by the House of Representatives.

Sincerely,

Rep. Scott Garrett
Rep. Timothy Bishop
Rep. Peter King
Rep. Leonard Lance
Rep. Tom McClintock
Rep. Niki Tsongas
Rep. John Culberson
Rep. Nita Lowey
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen
Rep. Brian Bilbray
Rep. Frank LoBiondo


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