Yesterday Jaime Herrera Beutler continued her efforts to make the sales tax deduction permanent by testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee that oversees the nation's tax policies.
Jaime appeared before the committee to highlight the need for H.R. 476, a bipartisan bill she cosponsored during her first month in Congress that would make permanent the local and state sales tax deduction. The House Ways and Means Committee is currently working on the 2012 Tax Extenders bill, which Jaime hopes will include this important deduction.
She has also worked with a coalition of her colleagues in both parties to urge the House Ways and Means to provide this tax certainty as quickly as possible.
Below is the text of Jaime's speech from yesterday:
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to advocate for the extension of the state and local sales tax deduction on behalf of hardworking families and individuals in Southwest Washington, as well as all seven of the states that do not have an income tax.
We all understand that folks are struggling in this economy. We often hear about the need for "fairness" and "certainty" for hardworking taxpayers, and for job-creating businesses. I stand firmly behind both principles, which is why I have worked diligently to ensure that folks in Southwest Washington can deduct their state and local sales tax from their federal income tax. In fact, I am joined by colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in both bodies, who believe we should permanently etch this into our tax code.
Mr. Chairman, we have the opportunity to keep millions of dollars in Washington state's economy at a time the struggling businesses in Longview, Vancouver, Olympia and Chehalis need it most. This deduction allows the average family that I represent to keep $500 a year in money they've earned. That's a lot of groceries or tanks of gas. It gives the family savings account a small but much-needed cushion as folks struggle to find employment and make their home mortgage payments.
Unfortunately, the folks in Southwest Washington have become accustomed to an 11th-hour extension of this commonsense deduction that benefits them so much. It should be simple. Let's extend the local and state sales tax deduction for the folks in Southwest Washington who have already dutifully paid their taxes, and let's work to make this a permanent solution. I will continue to be a champion for this cause until we reach that goal.