WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee held a hearing on the Alternative Minimum Tax. Over the last four years, Leader Hoyer has been a strong proponent of tax simplification and fairness, and urged the Congress and the Bush Administration to come together and address the AMT, which will force an estimated 23 million taxpayers to pay more in taxes than they otherwise would unless its affects are addressed:
“I want to commend the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Rep. Richard Neal, as well as the Chairman of the full Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel, for their persistent advocacy and strong leadership in fighting for a tax system that is fair, efficient and less complicated. Today’s hearing on the Alternative Minimum Tax – a stealth tax increase that will force millions of hard-working, middle-income Americans to pay more in taxes – is an important step in the right direction.
“House Democrats are committed to finding a permanent solution to the AMT, which ensnares more and more Americans every single year. The AMT is simply no longer fulfilling its objective. When enacted, it was designed to ensure that high-income taxpayers paid their fair share. Today, the AMT mostly affects middle-income taxpayers because it was never indexed for inflation. Furthermore, the AMT is a prime example of our nation’s unbelievably complicated tax system, requiring taxpayers to calculate their taxes twice – once under the regular tax system, and a second time under the AMT.
“It is time for the President to acknowledge this stealth tax increase under the AMT, and to work with Democrats to restructure the AMT to protect middle-class families and to seek a solution that does not increase the deficit. It is ironic that this Administration, which has repeatedly pledged not to raise taxes in response to record deficits and debt, is actually counting on the ever-expanding AMT to reduce the size of the deficit.
“Democrats do not believe that middle-income families should bear the brunt of the AMT, and we are committed to addressing it this year. We hope the Administration will join us in this effort.”