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Dr. Coburn's Statement on the Signing of Tax Relief into Law

Location: Washington, DC

Dr. Coburn's Statement on the Signing of Tax Relief into Law

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released the following statement concerning President Bush signing a tax relief bill into law.

"The tax relief bill signed into law today will keep a surging economy moving forward by allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned tax dollars. A dollar left in the hands of a citizen is much more effective than a dollar in the hands of a politician. The bill extends capital gains and dividend tax cuts and protects scores of Oklahomans from paying the burdensome Alternative Minimum Tax. This tax relief should be made permanent," Dr. Coburn said.

The Internal Revenue Service estimates annual uncollected taxes in the United States amount to approximately $350 billion. The Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, on which Dr. Coburn serves as chairman, held numerous oversight hearings and found nearly $200 billion in government waste.

"Too many critics of the president's tax cuts fail to understand that the problem in Washington, D.C., is overspending and mismanagement, not under-taxation," Dr. Coburn noted. "It is immoral for the federal government to confiscate more of the taxpayers' money when congressional spending and earmarking is at an all-time high. Congress must end earmarking, the gateway drug to overspending, and rein in out-of-control spending to ensure that the next generation of Americans can inherit the same opportunities we received."

For the 2003 tax year, 220,000 Oklahomans benefited from the reduced tax rate on capital gains and corporate dividends that were extended in the tax relief bill, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury. Under current law, capital gains and dividend income are taxed at a 15-percent rate. The rate will be reduced to zero in 2008 for taxpayers in the 10- and 15-percent tax brackets. Without action, these rates will increase after 2008. The provision extends these reduced rates through 2010.

The 2003 tax act increased the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption amount to $40,250 ($58,000 married couples filing jointly) for 2003 and 2004 to prevent new taxpayers from becoming subject to the AMT. The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 extended those exemption amounts through the end of 2005. The most recent provision extends the exemption levels though the end of 2006 but at a higher level - $62,550 (married) and $42,500 (other).

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