Issue Position: Tax Relief

Issue Position

By:  Bill Owens
Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Location: Unknown

While I believe taxes play an essential role in funding government operations, I also believe it is critical that we keep taxes low -- especially on the middle class -- and restrain government spending. We must make wise investments in infrastructure to help create jobs and implement targeted tax cuts and credits to help farmers, businesses and families thrive in Northern New York. This is a job creation strategy supported by many economists, and I've introduced several pieces of targeted tax legislation to do just that.

After hearing from countless small business owners that one of the best ways to stimulate job growth and economic development is through expansion of the tax deduction for capital expenditures, I introduced the Home Energy Affordability Tax Relief (HEATR) Act, which would create a new tax deduction to help offset high heating costs in homes and businesses. I also introduced the Small Business Tax Relief Act, a bill that would repeal a provision of the new health care reform law that in 2012 requires businesses to send IRS Form 1099s for every business-to-business transaction of $600 or more for both property and services.

I also cosponsored and supported H.R. 4, the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act, when it passed the House on March 3 of this year and was signed into law by President Obama on April 14. This Republican piece of legislation repealed the same provision but paid for it differently. At the end of the day, my priority is shifting the tax burden away from small businesses and family farmers to encourage job growth and market expansion that will benefit our local economy.

Additionally, I supported the bipartisan extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, which delivers several key victories for American families and small businesses in addition to preventing a middle class tax increase by extending current tax rates across all income levels for two years. Although I do not believe that extending tax cuts for the ultra wealthy will create jobs, and I'm concerned that doing so will unnecessarily add to the debt, I believe a two-year extension is a fair compromise and that the overall agreement contains significant job creation measures. As we continue on the road to recovery, we will be able to revisit the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans when the economy is on stronger footing.

It is critical that we shield family farms and small businesses from the estate tax. I supported raising the exemption from the tax from $3 million to $5 million per person, which is now the law. This rate will allow small business owners and farmers in Upstate New York to pass along their businesses to future generations and allow the local economy to thrive. More information on my position on the estate tax can be found in a recent article in the publication Strictly Business. (link)

I understand that these are tough economic times and I am keenly aware of the challenges that our region faces. I support the call for a complete revision of the tax code to make it fairer and less complicated for the system to work better for everyone.

Updated July 27, 2011

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