Today, the United States Senate took side-by-side votes on two very different tax proposals dealing with the possibility of large tax increases this coming January related to expiring tax provisions. The Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2012, introduced by Senate Republicans and supported by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, would grant certainty to every American and small business owner that their taxes will not go up at the end of the year and provide time for Congress to deliver meaningful tax reform within a year. The other proposal, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), would only allow some current tax rates to continue, simultaneously raising taxes on thousands of family farmers and small business owners, leaving no room for true reform. It also includes a proposal to reinstate the death tax, which would hit many Idaho farmers and ranchers directly.
"At a time when millions of Americans are out of work and economic growth is weak, raising taxes is the least responsible course of action," Crapo said. "A recent report shows that the tax increases proposed by the Majority will hit almost one million job creators, slash 710,000 jobs and cut wages by nearly 2 percent. On top of this, reinstating the death tax will directly impact Idaho's farmers, ranchers and small businesses."
He continued, "If reinstated, family members who inherit a farm or ranch would have to pay 55 percent of the value of the property and equipment above $1 million, guaranteeing the breakup of mid-size family businesses, including farms and ranches. According to a report by the Joint Economic Committee on Taxation, the death tax hike would hit 24 times more farming estates, 13 times more small businesses and 15 times more taxable estates. This is not the responsible course of action."
"The legislation I supported today would have provided a bridge to comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform, by allowing all Americans to continue to pay the same tax rates they have been paying for more than a decade. This would have given American families and businesses the certainty they need to succeed in the coming years, while providing for real tax reform within twelve months of enactment. We need true tax reform that makes our code less complex and more competitive."
Each bill voted on today was set at a 50-vote threshold. The Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2012 failed on a 54-45 vote, and the Democrat alternative passed, 51-48. Because all revenue measures must originate in the United States House of Representatives, the bill cannot become law.