Jan 152015

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) attempts to insure that every person and company that makes money pays taxes, regardless of their deductions. In 2010, our treasury collected about $102 billion in Alternative Minimum Taxes. Nearly a flat tax, the AMT sets exemptions for income but does not allow itemized deductions such as mortgage interest, medical expenses and child deductions as regular tax returns do. If a taxpayer’s regular tax is higher then the AMT figure, then there’s no AMT to pay. But if the regular tax calculation is lower, the difference between the two taxes is the amount of AMT that has to be paid on top of the regular taxes. The AMT exception levels are: $50,600 for single head of household, $39,375 for a married person filing separately, and $78,750 for a married couple filing jointly. The AMT tax rates are 26% up to a threshold and 28% after that. Up until recently, the AMT was not indexed for inflation which meant that middle class taxpayers were more and more susceptible to this 40 year-old tax over time. However, in 2013, the Obama Administration corrected this fault. Even so, opponents claim the AMT tax has outlived its’ usefulness, saying it was originally intended to apply to the very wealthy but now impacts people making more than $75,000 annually.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current Alternative Minimum Tax policy

I support amending the 1986 IRS code to repeal the alternative minimum tax and wish to identify a legislator who will reintroduce H.R.1233 – Alternative Minimum Tax Repeal Act of 2003 (108th Congress, 2003-2004)

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Our 1990 Congress reclassified beer as a “luxury” item and doubled the excise tax on this popular beverage. Taxes are now the single most expensive ingredient in beer, making up more than half its cost. Critics say middle and lower-income Americans, who comprise the vast majority of our nation’s 90 million beer drinkers, cannot afford this tax on one of their few “luxuries.” They claim these Americans are already amongst our most heavily taxed. Studies have found that households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 pay more than half of all beer taxes. Some advocates are against reducing beer taxes or the cost of beer. They claim studies have shown that when beer prices increase by 1%, traffic fatalities drop by 1%. Industry advocates claim other studies show little correlation between the cost of alcoholic beverages and the rate of traffic accidents. In 2005, total taxes levied on the production, distribution and sale of beer amounted to $32 billion.

Pending Legislation:

S.958 – BEER Act

I oppose reforming current beer tax policy and wish to defeat S.958

I support reducing from $18 to $9 (the pre-1991 level) the per-barrel tax on beer; and further reducing the rate of such tax on brewers who produce not more than 2 million barrels of beer during the calendar year, and wish to pass S.958

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Gasoline taxes are our single most important source of transportation revenue and are used to fund the construction and maintenance of our highways and bridges. However, this indispensable revenue is falling behind what is needed to maintain this infrastructure. Since 1933, the federal tax on a gallon of gasoline has remained at 18.4 cents yet the cost of highway construction and repairs has increased 55% during that time. Advocates say we need to index gasoline taxes to the cost of inflation in order to keep up with construction costs, or our transportation infrastructure will continue to deteriorate. These advocates are joined by environmentalists who claim increasing the tax and price of gasoline will make alternative fuels more attractive. Some gas tax opponents claim the gasoline tax is becoming obsolete as vehicle gas-mileage efficiency increases and people drive less. Also, each day more and more electric and fuel cell vehicles replace those paying gas taxes. Gas tax opponents claim these types of vehicles are shifting the burden of highway maintenance onto those who buy gasoline. They say that instead of a tax on fuel consumption as a way of financing road infrastructure, a “vehicle miles traveled” (VMT) tax would charge motorists based on their road usage measured in mileage. A VMT tax would require vehicles to be fitted with GPS units that assign it to the appropriate taxing jurisdiction, record distance traveled, and calculate the amount of tax owed. Higher tax rates could be charged for heavy trucks that cause greater damage to roads. Those who drive in congested areas could also be charged higher rates as an incentive to reduce traffic. However, studies show this proposal would face substantial administration and privacy hurtles. Gas tax supporters say our present system is already progressive since people who drive more miles and those with heavier or fuel-inefficient vehicles tend to pay more taxes due to more frequent stops at the gas pump.

Pending legislation: None

I oppose reforming current gasoline tax policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to index gasoline taxes to inflation

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to replace the current gasoline consumption tax with a vehicle miles traveled tax

 Posted by at 12:00 am