Ryan, Paul
Kate Dwyer 202-225-3031

Ryan Votes to Stop Tax Hike on Married Couples

Washington, Apr 28 -

WASHINGTON –  Today Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan voted in favor of legislation that would ensure that the marriage penalty tax relief enacted in recent years is not reduced next year and that the relief stays in the law permanently.  Unless the relief is extended, about 27 million married couples will face an average tax increase of $300 next year and over 30 million will see a tax increase of more than $700 starting in 2011 (estimates from Joint Committee on Taxation).  The House of Representatives passed this legislation – H.R. 4181 – by a vote of 323-95.  The measure awaits action in the U.S. Senate.

The 2001 tax relief law enacted by Congress and the President made the U.S. tax code fairer by eliminating two of the most significant marriage penalties.  The 2001 law gradually increased the standard deduction and 15% bracket for married couples to twice the size for individuals.  This relief was accelerated in the 2003 Jobs and Growth tax law.  However, under current law, this relief will be reduced from 2005 through 2008 and will expire by 2011.     

The tax relief that Congress enacted over the last few years lowered taxpayers’ burden across the board, including steps that delivered relief from the marriage penalty for married couples.  It makes no sense to tax married couples more just because they took their vows and began filing their taxes jointly,” Ryan said. “Unfortunately, due to a Senate rule, this tax relief was only temporary.  Taxes will go up next year for married couples if Congress doesn’t act.” 

“The House vote for lasting marriage penalty relief is an important step, but the Senate needs to approve it and Congress should make the rest of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief permanent as well.  Otherwise, small businesses and families will face a major tax hike that would put the brakes on job creation and economic growth,” Ryan said.