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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Patty Wetterling's Tax Reform Plan

Press Release


September 1, 2006

Corey Day

Wetterling gives hope to middle class with plan for tax reform

ANOKA, Minn. - On Friday, 6th District congressional candidate Patty Wetterling rolled out her plan to make the tax system fair to the middle class. The plan is the first proposal in her Middle Class Opportunity package.

Wetterling unveiled four major tax cuts she will support in Congress to ease the burden on middle-class families. They are:

1. Simplified Family Credit

- Combines the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Credit and the Dependent Care Credit into one credit for working families with children.

- Provides a maximum credit of $2,500 for a family with one child, $5,000 for two children, and $7,500 for three children, indexed for inflation.

- Phases out at $60,000 for individual taxpayers and $120,000 for joint filers.

- Cuts 200 pages from the tax code into one 12 question form.

2. Universal Mortgage Deduction

- Allows every homeowner, not just itemizers, to deduct mortgage interest.

- A universal mortgage deduction will enable an additional 10 million Americans, the vast majority of whom make $50,000 or less, to receive help in purchasing a home.

- Will be less complicated, more accessible, and will encourage more homeownership.

- Today, 28% of taxpayers and just half of homeowners itemize.

- Only one-fifth of households with incomes below $50,000 receive current deduction.

3. Refundable Credit for Higher Education Expenses

- A $3,000 a year refundable credit for four years of college and two years of graduate school.

- Will replace the Hope Scholarship, Lifetime Learning Credit, Deduction for Higher Education Expenses, Exclusion of Employee-Provided Education Benefits and the Exclusion for Qualified Tuition Reductions.

- It will help six million full-time students cover a significant part of the cost of tuition at a public university.

- No limit on number of students per family who are eligible.

- No income phase-down or phase-out.

- Allows those receiving Pell Grants to still qualify for the total amount of the College Tax Credit.

- Current education credits are difficult to decipher, this credit is simple and will help increase access to higher education and economic success.

4. Universal Pension

- Replaces the ?alphabet soup? of 16 existing IRA-type accounts with a single, portable retirement account for all workers.

- Contribution limits are the same as those for current IRAs.

- Will make retirement savings easier and save administrative costs.

Wetterling was joined at the press conference by concerned Minnesotans who addressed the increasing tax burden that Washington is piling on their families.

"Middle-class families are hurting," says Wetterling. "They are having a harder time paying for things like health care and college because they are being forced to compensate for the generous tax breaks being given to the very wealthy and big corporations."

Wetterling outlined the details of her tax reform strategy during a press conference at the state Capitol today, Friday, September 1.

On Saturday, Wetterling will spend the day at the Minnesota State Fair. She will be at the DFL booth from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Bottom line, singles are still screwed over with the child tax credit provisions. Why not get rid of the mortgage interest deduction and make rates lower, and provide financial aid through the Pell Grant rather than through the tax code.

I'll stop by the DFL booth while Wetterling is there to ask her about her Tax policy.