26 Jul 2000 Black Network Applauds Congressional Tax Relief – “When We’ve Overpaid, We Want Our Money Back.”
Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 applaud efforts by congressional leaders to provide tax relief to all Americans through the repeal of the marriage tax and the "death tax" on estates, despite veto threats by the Clinton White House.
Both chambers of Congress recently passed bills to dramatically ease the tax burden on the American people. Acting on President Clinton’s State of the Union appeal to "reduce the marriage penalty, to make sure it rewards marriage," legislation was passed that equalizes the tax deductions for a married couple so that it matches that enjoyed by an unmarried one. Another bill eliminates taxes levied on the estates of the departed. These death taxes often destroy family-owned small businesses and saddle grieving relatives with mountains of debt.
In a recent New Visions Commentary on death taxes, Project 21 research assistant Syd Gernstein wrote, "These unfair taxes may be the death of the new African-American prosperity… Black-owned businesses more than doubled in number between 1987 and 1997. This black prosperity and perseverance, however, is put at risk by unfair taxation."
These particular tax relief measures come on the heels of news from the Congressional Budget Office that the federal government will have a $2.2 trillion surplus over the next ten years. This is $1.3 trillion more than predicted in January. Congressman J.C. Watts (R-OK) said, "When we’ve overpaid, we want our money back." Clinton, however, has pledged to veto the bills "in the interest of fiscal responsibility." Clinton did say he would sign the marriage tax bill, but only if it also includes his proposal to have Medicare cover prescription drugs.
"No group of tax cuts is more important to blacks that getting rid of the marriage tax and the death tax," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. "With the near disappearance of the black family farm and the fragile financial gains blacks have made during these good economic times, the repeal of these burdensome taxes would be a tremendous benefit."
Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.