Wednesday, December 19, 2007

House to Vote on Preventing Expanded Tax

By JIM ABRAMS (Associated Press Writer)
From Associated Press
December 19, 2007 4:47 AM EST

WASHINGTON - After agonizing for weeks, the House planned to vote Wednesday on legislation that would protect more than 20 million people from seeing their tax bill balloon this year as a result of the dreaded alternative minimum tax.

One of Congress' last acts before it closes shop for the year, passage of the bill providing a one-year stay on growth of the AMT was a political must: Neither party wanted to leave Washington taking blame for a tax increase, averaging $2,000 a person, that would affect millions. House passage would send the bill to President Bush.

The last-minute nature of the vote on the AMT fix resulted from a fundamental difference between the House and Senate. House Democrats had insisted that the $50 billion in tax relief resulting from the one-year fix must be paid for by an equivalent amount of revenue elsewhere, mainly by closing a loophole on offshore tax havens.

Senate Republicans, however, have blocked the Senate from taking up legislation that includes a tax increase, and Bush threatened to veto any bill that raised taxes.

On Tuesday night the Senate for a second time rejected the House-backed approach of a paid-for AMT bill. The House Democratic leadership, which was committed to paying for the tax relief, had asked the Senate to make one last stab at the issue. The Senate vote was 48-46 for the House bill, 12 short of the 60 needed to approve it.


Stephen Martinez EA
MSE & Assoc

No comments: