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Congressman Cole Votes For Tax Relief For America's Families

September 23, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted today for a comprehensive tax relief package that will ease tax obligations on America's families and businesses. The All American Tax Relief Act (H.R. 1308) passed in the U.S. House today.

"If Congress doesn’t act today, 93 million taxpayers next year will pay, on average, $565 more in taxes.  The tax relief plans of 2001 and 2003 have helped spur economic growth and have helped create over 1.7 million jobs in the last year," Congressman Cole said. "I believe that continued growth depends on further tax relief for all Americans."

Congressman Cole and Congressman John Sullivan (OK-1) worked with leadership to include provisions in H.R. 1308 to extend two parts of the tax code for one year  -- 168(j) and 45A. These two sections were amended in 1997 to include Oklahoma Indian country. The provisions will extend tax incentives for businesses that locate or expand on former Indian lands and provide a tax credit for businesses that hire Native Americans and their spouses. Without an extension, both of these provisions will expire at the end of the year. 

The Indian Employment Tax Credit in section 45(a) provides a 20 percent tax credit to employers who hire Native Americans and their spouses. The 168(j) provision allows businesses that locate on former Indian lands to depreciate their assets 40 percent faster than normal.  

"Almost three-fourths of the land in Oklahoma is eligible for the accelerated depreciation advantage, making this provision worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Oklahoma businesses whether they are owned by Native Americans or not," Congressman Cole said. "These provisions give businesses another reason to locate and expand their operation in Oklahoma."

“The extension of this tax incentive is exciting news for Oklahoma’s businesses, and I am proud to have worked with Congressman Cole on this important legislation," Congressman John Sullivan said. "The tax credit keeps the dollars where they belong, with our businesses, with our citizens, and with our state.”

H.R. 1308 will provide tax relief by extending marriage penalty relief, the expansion of the 10-percent income tax bracket and the  $1,000 child tax credit until 2011. The higher 15-percent refundability rate is accelerated to the beginning of 2004.  The extension of these tax credits will save families $109 billion in tax increases over the next 10 years.

The conference report also extends relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax through 2005 - without this provision more middle-income families will be pushed into the AMT.  It also provides assistance to military families in combat zones and simplifies the tax code by creating a uniform definition of a child for tax purposes.

The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the conference report in the near future.  The legislation is a priority for President Bush and he has indicated he will sign it into law.