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AFSCME Letter Supporting Middle Class Tax Cuts

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 1.6 million members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), I urge you to vote for the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010. AFSCME strongly supports this legislation because it would avoid tax increases on working families and middle-class taxpayers and simultaneously ensure the highest income Americans pay their fair share of taxes.

This legislation permanently extends reduced individual income tax rates for individual income up to $200,000 and joint income up to $250,000, which are scheduled to expire December 31, 2010. It provides two years of relief from the alternative minimum tax (AMT) by increasing the AMT tax exemption for 2010 to $46,700 for individuals and to $70,950 for joint filers - with slightly increased exemptions in 2011. It permanently extends other much needed tax benefits for families and children, including the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit (ETIC).

Extending the reduced individual income tax rates will protect 98% of Americans - individuals earning below $200,000 and joint filers earning below $250,000. Average annual income for Americans is far less than $200,000 and $250,000. Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans - those earning over $250,000 - are unaffordable and simply unwarranted. They have not been proven to create jobs, and they would cost taxpayers $700 billion over 10 years, or $1 trillion with interest added. For these reasons, AFSCME supports the scheduled increase of individual income tax rates on individual and family income exceeding $200,000 and $250,000 respectively.

AFSCME urges you to vote in favor of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010. This will help avoid a tax increase on working families and ensure federal funds are available to create jobs and deliver vital public services.

Sincerely,

Charles M. Loveless
Director of Legislation