Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) today voted to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and protect millions of Americans from the largest tax hike in American history. Smith supported the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (Senate Amendment to H.R. 8), which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 257-167. The bill prevents automatic tax hikes on taxpayers making less than $400,000 (single) and $450,000 (married). Without this legislation, residents of the 21st District of Texas would have seen an average increase per tax return of over $5,000.
Congressman Smith: "House Republicans have passed numerous bills to cut government spending and prevent a massive tax hike on middle class Americans. Unfortunately, the President and Senate Democrats have consistently rejected the House proposals, pushing instead for tax increases that would burden small businesses and stifle job creation.
"The Senate proposal is not perfect, but it prevents the President from imposing the largest tax increase in history on the American people. The bill provides permanent income tax relief to 99% of American taxpayers. If the bill had been defeated, taxes would have increased for every American. Income taxes, the inheritance tax, and the capital gains tax all would have gone up.
"With the Obama Administration and Democrats pushing for higher taxes, this legislation is our best hope of preventing tax hikes that would stifle economic growth and job creation."
Background on Senate Amendment to H.R. 8: The bill protects tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers and family businesses by permanently providing death tax relief for estates valued at less than $5 million. Without this bill, the tax rate would revert back to 55% on estates valued at $1 million or more.
The bill provides a permanent fix to the alternative minimum tax to ensure that nearly 30 million middle class Americans are not forced to pay an additional tax. And it permanently extends the current 15% rate for capital gains for taxpayers making less than $400,000 (single) and $450,000 (married).