April 29, 2008

Crapo, Colleagues Want Action To Stop AMT

Signs letter with 40 Senators on Alternative Minimum Tax and other tax provisions

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Finance Committee which has jurisdiction over tax issues, joined 40 of his Republican colleagues today in asking for immediate consideration of legislation that will stop the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) from hitting millions of additional middle income taxpayers this year, and that will also extend many key tax incentives that expired at the end of 2007.

The letter, which was sent to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana), requests that the Senate immediately pass legislation to "patch" the AMT problem and extend other tax relief measures, such as those dealing with energy tax incentives and charitable giving, without raising taxes in other areas.

Crapo co-sponsored legislation last year to permanently end the AMT, which could affect up to 90,000 Idahoans, and prevent a major tax increase on all Idahoans in the next five years. While that bill awaits a hearing, new language that would patch the AMT provisions for this year is now being proposed. The AMT was originally drafted in the late 1960s. The intent of the legislation was to ensure that no one could legally avoid paying taxes by using certain loopholes, but for various reasons, including the fact the AMT was never indexed for inflation, more and more middle-class taxpayers are now becoming ensnared by it.

In today's letter, the Senators wrote, "We believe the research and experimentation tax credit, various accelerated depreciation provisions, the energy tax incentives, the education, charitable, and other individual tax incentives, and the AMT patch are very important to American families and to the U.S. economy."

"We need to act aggressively to prevent unwarranted and unintended tax increases on tens of thousands of Idahoans through this outdated tax," Crapo said. "While some argue that the federal government will lose tax revenue if the AMT is eliminated, it should be remembered that the AMT was never intended to affect the middle class. Congress owes it to taxpayers to ensure that the taxes levied are appropriate and fair; the AMT stopped being that many years ago, and is now an onerous, outdated relic that must be retired."