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Altmire: AMT Bill Cuts Taxes for 60,000 Families in 4th Congressional District

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Altmire: AMT Bill Cuts Taxes for 60,000 Families in 4th Congressional District

House passes Altmire tax provisions that will benefit soldiers, students and economy

Today, U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-4) voted in support of fiscally responsible tax cuts for 60,000 families in Pennsylvania's 4th Congressional District by providing relief from the alternative minimum tax (AMT). Without this measure, households with annual incomes of $50,000 to $200,000 would be particularly hard hit as they will be ensnared by the parallel AMT tax system. The Temporary Tax Relief Act (H.R. 3996) would ensure that no additional taxpayers will pay the AMT for 2007 and extends important tax provisions scheduled to expire at the end of the year. The legislation passed by a vote of 216 to 193.

"Today's action will ensure 60,000 households - an increase of over 600 percent - in my district are not rudely surprised next year when their tax bills are due," said Congressman Altmire. "The AMT was never designed to hit the pocketbooks of middle class families. This bill does the right thing by cutting taxes for thousands of western Pennsylvania's families and ensuring that they will not be caught by the AMT."

Congressman Altmire added, "I am pleased the legislation included three bills I previously introduced which would provide tax relief to active duty military personnel, teachers, and businesses. This relief returns their hard earned money back to them by extending tax provisions that are set to expire soon."

Congressman Altmire's recent tax bills include the Active Duty Military Tax Relief Act (H.R. 3827), the Classroom Readiness Act (H.R. 3983), and the Brownfield Redevelopment Tax Incentive Act (H.R. 3984). Each called for tax relief to benefit Pennsylvania's soldiers, students, and local businesses through permanent extensions of tax provisions scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Extensions of these provisions were included in the Temporary Tax Relief Act and the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act (H.R. 3997). The HEART Act passed the House on Monday by a vote of 410 to 0. The following tax provisions pushed by Congressman Altmire were included in the two tax bills passed in the House this week:

* Active Duty Military Provisions - Extensions will allow active duty military personnel to treat combat pay as earned income for the purposes of computing the earned income tax and allow reservists called to active duty to make penalty-free withdrawals from their retirement plans.
* Differential Military Pay Treatment - New provision will allow service members who receive differential pay from their civilian employer to contribute those wages to their retirement plan.
* Military Death Gratuities Contributions - New provision will allow family members of soldiers killed in the line of duty to contribute any amount of the military death gratuity ($100,000) into tax-favored accounts, such as Roth IRAs and Education Savings Accounts.
* Brownfield Redevelopment - Extension will help stimulate the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated brownfield sites. The measure will allow developers to fully deduct costs in the year the costs were incurred, as opposed to spreading the costs over a period of years.
* Teacher "Out of Pocket" Costs - Extension will allow teachers to deduct up to $250 annually for out-of-pocket expenses, including expenses for books, classroom supplies, computer equipment, and other supplementary materials.
* Computer Donations to Schools - Extension will continue the enhanced deduction for corporate donations of computer equipment to K-12 schools.

Congressman Altmire also strongly supported the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (H.R. 943) which was included in the HEART Act on Monday. It would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow state and local governments the flexibility to develop beneficial tax incentives for volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel without federal interference, allowing local governments to assist with volunteer recruitment and retention by providing modest financial benefits such as pay-per-call, reimbursement for expenses, tax breaks, and pension-like plans called length of service awards. The provision would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from taxing this compensation awarded to volunteer responders for service to their communities.

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