July 27, 2005


Legislation would permanently lower the capital gains tax rate

Washington, DC â?? Idahoans who have savings and investments may see a boost in their finances under legislation introduced today by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Crapo's bill would potentially benefit retirees, families and investors by permanently lowering the top tax rate on dividends and long-term capital gains to 15 percent. The provision was originally included in the Jobs and Economic Growth package in 2003 but is set to expire in 2008.â??This measure will continue tax relief for retirees, investors, and families directly meaning more money in the pocket of taxpayers,â?? said Crapo. â??Since 2004, dividend increases have exceeded all increases between 1994 and 2002 combined, greatly helping seniors who receive almost half of all dividend income. Under this current lower capital gains tax rate, job creation has substantially accelerated, the tax base has been enhanced and also made corporate managers better stewards of investorâ??s money, and this economic policy should be permanent. Investors and business owners can feel reassured that money remains in the hands of those who have earned it.â??U.S. Treasury data has shown that 24 million Americans saved an average of $950 on their taxes in 2004 as a result of this lower capital gains tax rate, including seven million seniors whose average savings was more than $1,230. Due to the current capital gains tax sunset, investments made after 2008 will be subject to a higher tax rate, potentially harming long-term investments. Recognizing the importance of providing some certainty that Congress will not allow these tax rates to be raised at the 2008 expiration, 12 Senators have joined Crapo as original sponsors of this bill, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.