Sen. Tom Udall's office issued this press release last week on extending tax cuts to most Americans.
"The average New Mexico family of four makes less than $45,000 a year and extending tax cuts for them is critical," said Udall, D-N.M. "The bill we passed today would benefit 98 percent of New Mexico families and businesses to help keep our economy moving forward."
The Senate-passed package continues tax cuts for 97 percent of small businesses and 98 percent families nationwide. It extends all tax cuts for individuals who make up to $200,000 and for married couples who make up to $250,000 – tax cuts which save the average family about $1,600. It also extends other tax provisions critical to the middle class — the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the expanded Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit — that help families afford college, cover their bills and provide for their children, as detailed below.
- The American Opportunity Tax Credit helps middle-class families afford college by covering up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition.
- The Child Tax Credit provides hard-working families with $1,000 worth of tax relief for each child under age 17.
- The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit that offers assistance to working individuals and families who earned less than $49,078 in 2011.
"The future growth of our economy depends on the strength of our middle-class," Udall said. "We should focus on cutting taxes for them, instead of the two percent of millionaires and billionaires my Republican colleagues insist on protecting."
A Republican amendment to extend all Bush-era tax cuts was also voted on in the Senate and defeated by a vote of 45-54. According to the Congressional Research Service, the proposal would have increased the deficit by more than $930 billion over the next 10 years.