Guest Editorial

Tax relief measures to continue


In recent years, Congress has enacted responsible tax relief to help create jobs, grow America's economy and allow workers, families and small businesses to keep more of their hard earned money to spend, invest or save for their future.

This means American workers are paying less in income taxes, parents have more money because of increases in the child tax credit, married couples are not paying higher taxes simply because they are husband and wife, and relief from the unfair death tax is being provided.

Unfortunately, opponents of reducing taxes have ensured that the responsible tax laws enacted over the past several years are only temporary.

There is no question that tax relief policies are working. Over the last five years, tax relief has helped spur economic and job growth across the nation. However, this tax relief is not permanent. In order to protect families and small businesses from tax increases, additional legislation is required. Congress extends tax relief measures on a regular basis and has recently approved a plan to extend many important tax relief policies to benefit middle-income families and small businesses.

This month, the House of Representatives and the Senate approved a plan that will allow small business to grow and hire more workers, continue relief for millions of middle- income taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax, and encourage investment by extending capital gains and dividend income relief.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing half of all private sector employees, and generating 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade. In 2003, Congress allowed small businesses to keep more of their money through enhanced business expensing. This is extended under the recently approved plan so that small business can continue to expand and hire more workers.

Income limits have been updated to keep the alternative minimum tax from costing working families more money.

The bill also extends reduced tax rates on capital gains and dividend income. This will encourage continued investment by lowering the tax burden of an estimated 24 million American families.

However, this bill is not our final commitment to taxpayers. A second plan is being developed, that will allow other critical tax relief measures to continue. This bill will include an extension of the state sales tax deduction that is so important to Washington state taxpayers, tax credits to make higher education more affordable, and tax incentives for research and development to help spur innovation.

Congressman Doc Hastings (R-Pasco) represents Central Washington's 4th Congressional District.


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