Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) voted today in support of the fiscal cliff legislation, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,and released the following statement after it was approved by a bi-partisan vote in the House:
"This historic legislation gives 114 million households the certainty of knowing that their income taxes will remain low. Our unemployed will continue to receive the benefits they so urgently need, and the wealthiest among us will do more to help cut the deficit and reduce our debt. The needs of working families are addressed through the extension of the Child, Earned Income and Higher Education tax credits. I commend President Obama for keeping his promise to make sure the wealthiest Americans pay a little more. I also applaud leaders in both parties for their hard work to achieve a compromise that protects tax breaks for the middle class and small businesses. Congress recognized that spending cuts alone will not resolve our federal deficit or restore our nation's economy and acted accordingly," said Congresswoman Fudge.
"Compromise means coming together in a way that gives neither side everything it wants. I was not pleased with the funding measures that were used to pay for the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR or "doc fix"). Specifically, the SGR fix was paid for by cutting provider payments for treating illnesses disproportionately impacting minorities, including end stage renal disease and diabetes. Adequate funding for these critical medical services must be addressed as we move through the next few months. Despite these concerns, I voted in favor of this legislation because it is urgently needed to move our country forward. The immediate threat of steep automatic cuts in federal spending, known as sequestration, has been postponed for two months. Congress must continue the progress made by this agreement as we move forward."
The American Taxpayer Relief Act includes:
Tax relief for the middle class (Middle class families would have seen an average $2,200 tax increase had no action taken place.)
· Permanently repeals personal exemptions and itemized deductions limitations for incomes at or below $250,000 (singles), $275,000 (head of household), and $300,000 (couples). This bill extends a repeal put in place by legislation passed during a previous Congress.
· Provides a permanent Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) fix: removing a potential tax danger for middle-class families.
· Permanently extends the expanded dependent care credit.
· Permanently extends the increased adoption tax credit and adoption assistance programs.
· Extends for one year the mortgage debt relief tax credit. This is a credit that relieves distressed homeowners from having to pay taxes on the amount of debt that was forgiven in a refinance or loan modification, short sale, or foreclosure
Extension of tax cuts for 25 million working families and students
· Extends for five years tax credits for college tuition (American Opportunity Tax Credit).
· Extends for five years the Child Tax Credit.
· Extends for five years the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Increased Revenue from the wealthiest 2% of households
· Restores the 39.6% rate for high-income households: singles with incomes above $400,000 and married couples with incomes above $450,000.
· Raises tax rates on the wealthiest estates--worth upwards of $5 million per person--from 35% to 40%.
· Returns capital gain rates for high-income households would to 20%, the rate put in place under President Clinton. These tax-rates would apply to singles above $400,000 and couples above $450,000.
Extended emergency benefits for the long term unemployed
· Prevents 2 million people, including 55,000 Ohioans, from losing unemployment insurance benefits by extending benefits for one year. There is no change in benefit eligibility.
Tax relief and investment incentives for Business
· Extends tax relief for business for two years through the Research & Experimentation tax credit.
· Extends for two years the treatment of military basic housing allowances under low-income housing credit. Specifically, a service member's housing allowance would not be considered income for purposes of calculating whether the service member qualifies as a low-income tenant.
· Extends for two years the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which allows businesses to claim a credit when hiring one of eight targeted groups (members of families receiving TANF, qualified ex-felons, designated community residents, vocational rehabilitation referrals, qualified summer youth employees, qualified food and nutrition recipients, qualified SSI recipients, and long-term family assistance recipients).
· Extends for two years the charitable deduction to businesses for contributions of food inventory.
· Temporarily fixes the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The agreement avoids a 27% cut to reimbursements for doctors seeing Medicare patients for 2013 by fixing the SGR through the end of 2013.
Energy Tax Extension
· Extends for one year the tax credit for wind electricity.