Above Speaker of the House John Boehner and Congressman Bob Latta, along with Latta’s wife Marcia and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Maria pose for a picture after Latta was sworn in for his term of office. (Submitted photo)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) issued the following statement regarding the House vote on H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act:
"Tonight, I supported a bill that provides tax relief for hardworking American families, making permanent tax cuts that Republicans originally crafted and enacted in 2001 and 2003, and prevented the largest tax hike in American history."Besides making permanent the tax rates for singles at $400,000 and for married couples at $450,000, this bill will prevent 26 million Americans from paying the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and helps our small businesses and farmers by keeping the death tax exemption level at $5 million. In addition to extending permanent tax relief for small businesses and middle class families, I am pleased to see the bill included an extension of the farm bill, which will prevent current law from allowing milk prices to skyrocket, as well as repealing the pay increase for Members of Congress and White House staff.
"Our first step to avoiding the fiscal cliff has been taken, but in order to achieve a truly balanced approach and put our economy back on the path to prosperity, we must work towards comprehensive tax reform, reducing our deficit, and cut the out-of-control spending that is occurring in Washington"
A statement issued by Latta's office explains some specific tenants of H.R. 8, also known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act.
On marginal tax rates, the bill provides a permanent extension of current policy up to $400,000 for singles and $450,000 for married couples. It also makes permanent the 15 percent top capital gains and dividends up to $400,000 for singles and $450,000 for married couples and a 20 percent rate for both above that threshold.
It also provides a permanent extension of current policy on portability and unification of the inheritance tax with a $5 million exemption indexed for inflation and a 40 percent top rate. The alternative minimum tax for individuals will be permanently indexed for inflation, protecting millions of Americans from an unexpected tax increase.
The refundable $1,000 child tax credit was made permanent, preventing a reversion to the $500 level. The 2008 Farm Bill is extended for one year, avoiding reverting back to 1949 law. The country's debt limit is not increased with this bill, holding at $16.394 trillion. It also prevents any cost-of-living adjustment to congressional pay for Fiscal Year 2013.
In addition, Latta noted that the bill repeals the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act entitlement which is a long-term care program contained in Obamacare. and contains a one-year year extension of the "doc fix", the Sustainable Growth Rate, which ensures providers are paid for caring for Medicare patients, thus protecting seniors' access to health care.
Latta was sworn in to the 113th Congress on Thursday by House Speaker John Boehner. Following the official oath of office, Speaker Boehner conducted a ceremonial swearing-in, where he joined Congressman Latta and his family for a photo opportunity.