NEW: Senate Passes Middle Class Tax Cut
Thursday, July 26, 2012
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, legislation to extend tax cuts to all Americans for the first quarter of a million dollars of their annual earnings.
“This is a relatively fiscally responsible way to help the middle class, boost the economy, and get a handle on the deficit. We must embrace sound fiscal policies that help create jobs in the short-term and help with long-term deficit reduction. Passing this targeted, middle class tax cut is a step in the right direction. My hope is that the Speaker of the House doesn’t reject this proposal through a procedural maneuver,” said Reed.
The Middle Class Tax Cut Act extends all tax cuts for individuals who make up to $200,000 and for married couples who make up to $250,000. It also extends other tax provisions critical to the middle class – the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit – that help families afford college, cover their bills and provide for their children.
• The American Opportunity Tax Credit helps middle class families afford college by covering up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition.
• The Child Tax Credit provides hard-working families with $1,000 worth of tax relief for each child under age 17.
• The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit that offers assistance to working individuals and families who earned less than $49,078 in 2011.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse also supported in legislation.
“We have the opportunity to deliver some tax certainty to the American people by advancing the Middle Class Tax Cuts Act,” Whitehouse said in a speech delivered Tuesday. “This legislation would prevent tax rates from increasing for the vast majority of families and would preserve an important tax credit that currently helps millions of students afford the costs of a higher education. This bill is the right thing to do for the middle class, and I intend to vote for it.”
Whitehouse’s Republican opponent Barry Hinckley said the bill is only a tax raise on small businesses.
“I agree with President Obama that ‘you don’t raise taxes in a recession’’, he said. ““It’s important to evaluate each proposal based not on ideology or partisanship, but on its individual strengths and weaknesses. Using that approach, Harry Reid’s tax hike fails miserably.”
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