Rokita Takes Stand to #StopTheTaxHike
For too long in Washington, we’ve heard the same message from those who think government is the solution to all of our problems. They tell you that you don’t deserve to keep what you’ve earned because you’re not responsible for earning it. They say that you didn’t achieve your own success, Washington helped you. They say, “Give us your money, and we’ll spend it for you. And while we’re at it, we’ll spend your children’s and grandchildren’s money as well.”
How has that worked out so far?
That is why I’m joining with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to mark “Stop the Tax Hike Day,” to call attention to the threat facing Hoosier businesses and families if Congress fails to extend all current income tax rates by the end of the year. As you may be aware, the Senate voted Wednesday to raise taxes on Hoosier small businesses and families by only extending a portion of the current, lower tax rates set to expire in January. But in the House, we are fighting for a full extension of all rates so that no one has to pay higher taxes.
Right now, Hoosiers and all Americans are facing hardships as our economy continues to right itself. Family budgets have shrunk, wages have fallen, and providers are having a hard time putting food on the table. Complicating things even more, health care costs and gas prices continue to rise and families face the ever increasing cost of college. Allowing the current tax rates to expire will hit Americans at all income levels. We simply cannot let that happen.
If we don’t stop the tax hike, a typical family of four earning $50,000 could be hit with a tax increase of nearly $2,200, married senior citizens earning $40,000 could pay nearly $1,700 in higher taxes, and a single mom earning $36,000 could see her tax liability nearly double.
In Indiana’s 4th District, which I represent, it’s been estimated that the average tax increase per tax return will be more than $3,300.
At least 75 percent of small businesses pay their taxes as individuals and could be subject to pending income tax increases as well. In June, for the first time in nearly four years, small business owners said that taxes ranked above poor sales as the single most important problem they are facing today. If we allow the current rates to expire, more than 700,000 jobs will be destroyed, wages will fall even more than they already have, and nearly one million small businesses will be smacked with higher taxes.
There would also be serious consequences for family farms. Around 98 percent of the 2 million farms and ranches in the U.S. are owned by individuals, family partnerships and family corporations. When these farms and ranches are passed down to the next generation, those who inherit them are often forced to sell the farms just to pay the estate taxes. And if Congress doesn’t act to stop the tax hike, the estate tax will rise to as high as 55 percent and will hit thousands more family farms.
Our economy is too fragile for the president and his allies in Congress to be engaging in this kind of class warfare. That’s why I’ve been working with my colleagues in the House to pass legislation that would stop everyone’s taxes from going up. And it’s why I’ll be holding Congress on Your Corner events in Monticello and Frankfort this Saturday, July 28, and a town hall meeting in Danville on August 6, to talk with Hoosiers who would be hit hardest by these looming tax hikes.
But stopping the tax hike is not enough. We must also take action to fix our broken tax code. Today’s code is littered with special-interest loopholes that pick winners and losers. It leaves American companies stuck with an outdated tax system that makes them less competitive in the global marketplace. And it places a massive burden of paperwork on businesses and families. The tax code should be simpler, flatter and fairer. By lowering rates, cleaning out the code and reducing complexity through comprehensive tax reform, we can create a healthier, stronger economy with more jobs.
Next week, in the House of Representatives, we are set to vote on stopping this tax hike from happening and will set forth principles which will govern us, your elected representatives, as we work to reform our tax system. I encourage you to conduct some of your own research on these dangerous and costly tax increases and engage your elected representatives on Twitter with the hashtag #StopTheTaxHike. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and I hope to see you at a Congress on Your Corner or our town hall meeting.
Rep. Todd Rokita
Member of Congress
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