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Cole Urges Congress to Remain Steadfast on Military Tax Break

May 16, 2003
Press Release

Washington D.C. – To honor the many men and women of the nation's Armed Forces, Congressman Tom Cole will be participating in an Armed Forces Day Ceremony at the American Legion in Blanchard and an Armed Forces Celebration at Wiley Post Airport. Armed Forces Day is May 17, 2003.

"On this special day of recognizing and honoring our troops, I also remember that it is important to hold our promises to those who fight to defend our country. Their sacrifice warrants our action," Congressman Tom Cole said.

America is proudly watching its soldiers return home, yet Congress has failed to pass the Armed Services Tax Fairness Act that would change the tax code to ensure that military families are not burdened with additional tax obligations while they are deployed.

"It's a sad day when the U.S. military can reach Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein faster than Congress can pass legislation to give a much needed tax break to the brave soldiers who served this country so well on the battlefield," Congressman Tom Cole declared. 

"All members of Congress value the service of our brave men and women in uniform. This change in the current tax code shows our larger commitment and responsibility to our military," Congressman Tom Cole said. 

The Armed Service Tax Fairness Act extends filing and payment deadlines for personnel deployed in support of military contingency operations. It will exclude time deployed away from their principle residence when claiming the $250,000 capital gain exclusion on home sales available to all homeowners. It also provides tax-free treatment of Dependent Care Benefits, Homeowner's Assistance Program payments and Death Gratuity Benefits provided to military families. It will make it easier for veterans' organizations to qualify for tax-exempt status and will provide a $500 above-the-line deduction of non-reimbursable expenses incurred by reservists.

Congressman Cole also recently voted for the Service Members Civil Relief Act (H.R. 100). This will protect service members from double taxation when they live in one state but are stationed in another. Interest on debts that could not be paid while in service will be forgiven, and eviction notices can be delayed for at least three months. It also guarantees the payment of premiums for a service member’s life insurance policy for policies up to $250,000, and the postponement of zoning and license matters.