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Enzi proposes relief and reforms of the tax system

Washington, D.C. --It's tax day and your accountant/U.S. senator is on the job.

"When I travel around Wyoming I hear the same thing. From Cheyenne to Sheridan and Evanston to Sundance one message comes through loud and clear. Our tax system is too complicated and our taxes are too high," said Enzi. "We tax what moves. We tax what doesn't move. We tax it when you buy it. We tax it when you sell it. We tax you for living, we even tax you for dying. This way of governing cannot continue if our country is to be healthy."

Enzi held a Senate Small Business Committee hearing last month in Casper where he listened to Wyoming small business people on what they are most concerned about. The list included estate tax reform, capital gains tax reduction and an overwhelming cry for a simpler system.

"I think one of the stunning comments that I heard at that hearing was from the President of the Society of CPAs for the State of Wyoming who said that accountants want simplification. Accountants almost have given up on simplification because every time that Congress looks at simplification, what it winds up doing is raising taxes. I want to simplify the code for everyone and reverse that trend," said Enzi. "And I believe it can and will be done."

Enzi has focused his efforts on the areas mentioned above and these others including family tax relief, identified tax code changes, balancing the federal budget and savings and investment incentives.

He is a cosponsor of legislation that would solve these specific problems.

Enzi said S.2, The Family Tax Relief Act he is cosponsoring will help families with a $500 per-child tax credit. It will also expand IRAs for spouses, reduce estate taxes and lower the capital gains tax.

"This bill is a priority for me and the majority party," said Enzi. "This is not just feel good, long shot legislation. It provides real relief and real solutions to the tax problems families face and it's going to pass."

As a cosponsor of the AMT relief bill, Enzi is helping to ensure fair treatment of farmers by the tax system. The measure provides that farmers won't have to pay taxes on product sales until they have actually received the money from those sales. Enzi still wants further reform of the Alternative Minimum Tax method, which was instituted in 1986.

"Under this provision businesses are forced to compute their taxes under both the regular corporate method and the AMT method and then they have to pay the greater amount," said Enzi. This compliance is expensive for businesses and it ties up valuable capital that could be used to expand their operations and provide new jobs. The AMT penalizes businesses that invest in necessary equipment and structures. It costs the business more to file than the tax collected."

Other tax relief/reform legislation Enzi is bringing before Congress as a cosponsor:

  • The Savings and Investment Act. It would amend the Internal Revenue Code to encourage savings through Individual Retirement Accounts.
  • The Capital Creation Act. This measure would give a 50 percent deduction of any net capital gain, with a maximum capital gains tax rate of 25 percent.
  • The Home-based Business Fairness Act. This bill would increase the deduction for health insurance cost for self-employed individuals to 100 percent, the same percent large corporations currently deduct. The act would also broaden the home office deduction so that parents and other individuals who choose to operate businesses out of their homes can receive more benefit from their expenses. The measure also clarifies the status of independent contractors.

And Enzi has made clear his resolve for a balanced federal budget.

"I won't vote for a budget resolution or a budget reconciliation package which allows an annual deficit to increase above the prior year deficit," he said.