Fuel Smarts

ATA Hails Tax Cut Package

May 29, 2001

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The nation’s biggest truck lobby is giving thumbs up to Congressional passage of the Bush tax cut plan hammered out over the Memorial Day weekend.

The $1.35 billion, 10-year package is the biggest tax cut in more than a generation and was a cornerstone of President Bush’s campaign. Most notably U.S. Treasury will mail rebate checks of up to $300 to individual taxpayers and of up to $600 to married couples. Single parents will get up to $500. The rebates are intended to help stimulate the sluggish economy. That refund money will come from the government surplus. The rest of the tax bill will phase in gradually over 10 years.
American Trucking Associations President Walter McCormick said, "the tax package approved this weekend by Congress is great news for the nearly 10 million men and women who make up the U.S. trucking industry. This will give the national economy a big boost, and since we haul what Americans build and buy, our trucking industry will be among the first to benefit from the President’s tax plan."
McCormick also applauded the repeal of the estate tax by 2010 saying, "For too long, the 'death tax' has been a threat to the survival of thousands of small, family-built and family-owned trucking companies. We have now taken another step toward assuring that these made-in-America businesses, which make up the majority of the U.S. trucking industry, will be able to stay in business and continue to serve their communities and create jobs."
The biggest change will come in income tax rates, which will fall significantly across the board. The new top tax rate will be 35 percent, down from 39.6 percent. Bush had proposed lowering it to 33 percent, but Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans insisted on less tax relief for the wealthiest Americans, and more for less well-off people.
The measure also will double the $500 child-tax credit by 2010 and allow people to increase their contributions to tax-deferred IRAs and 401(k) plans, also by 2010. In addition, millions of two-income married couples will get tax relief, as the bill widens the 15-percent tax bracket to cover more of their earnings. Under current tax law, many married couples pay higher taxes jointly than they would if they were single.
To finance all of these tax cuts, negotiators had to spread them over several years. Many will not take effect until 2006 or later.
The bill, which President Bush is expected to sign, will return to taxpayers a large share of the $5.6 trillion in surplus tax revenues that are projected to accumulate in the U.S. Treasury over the next 10 years.

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