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Tax Bill Offers Immediate Relief to Wisconsin Families

November 1, 2007
Press Release

Rep. Kind with Ways and Means Committee Extends Tax Deductions, Prevents Alternative Minimum Tax from Hitting 50,000 Western Wisconsin Families


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, in his position as a member of the powerful tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, today advanced H.R. 3996, the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007. This bill offers immediate tax relief to Wisconsin families by extending certain tax deductions, and preventing 50,000 middle-class families from western Wisconsin from being captured by the Alternative Minimum Tax.

“I am pleased in my new position on Ways and Means to be able to offer this type of relief to middle-class families,” Rep. Kind said. “Not only are we preventing an unfair tax burden for 50,000 people in western Wisconsin by fixing the AMT, we are extending the tax deductions that make a real difference in family budgets. It is my hope that further action on this bill is quick to get it enacted into law and dollars back in the pockets of families across the country.”

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was developed in the 1970s as a way to ensure that America’s wealthiest could not take advantage the tax code in a way that would allow them to avoid paying taxes all together. However, the AMT was not indexed for inflation, and without this legislation, would reach into the pocketbooks of middle-class families it was never intended to hit.

The bill prevents the AMT from affecting 50,000 additional western Wisconsin families this year, many of whom have no idea they could face a tax increase. In Wisconsin it is estimated that the AMT would have hit an additional 437,000 taxpayers, and 23 million nationally.

In addition to the AMT patch, the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007 offers taxpayers the following benefits:

Expands the property tax deduction for homeowners to $500 ($250 for single taxpayers);
Makes more families eligible for the $1,000 refundable child tax credit; and
Extends the current deduction for college tuition.

The bill is also fiscally responsible. The tax benefits are fully paid for by closing loopholes and eliminating narrowly-targeted tax breaks for corporations.

“This shows that we can provide tax relief without sending the debt on to our children,” Rep. Kind said. “After years of fiscal recklessness – deficit-financed tax cuts for the wealthy and out-of-control government spending – this bill sets a precedent of fiscally responsible tax reform.”