House votes to extend tax cuts through 2013

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The House of Representatives voted 256-171 Thursday, along party lines, to extend the expiring tax cuts for households and businesses at all income levels through 2013.

That’s according to an email from Larry Innis, who is in charge of legislative affairs for the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.

The vote came after the House rejection of the Democratic alternative that would have allowed the cuts to expire on taxable income over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

The House action stands in contrast to a move last week by the Senate that extended the tax cuts only up to the $200,000 and $250,000 ceilings, Innis said in the email.

The House-passed bill contains the important estate tax deduction of $5 million and a maximum tax rate of 35 percent. These provisions are set to expire Dec. 31. The Senate bill does not include the estate tax, which the MRAA opposes.

Another key to marine retailers is that the action in the House keeps the deduction for state sales taxes.

“This is especially important in states such as Texas and Florida that do not impose an income tax,” Innis wrote. “As a reminder, an individual can take a sales tax deduction if the taxpayer makes a major purchase and the sales tax paid is greater than the income tax paid.”

Congressional intent is to study the tax code next year for potential revision.

Earlier this week, the MRAA signed a letter asking legislators to extend the 2010 estate tax compromise.

“We believe it is essential that Congress act before the end of the year, or else the progress made on the estate tax will be undone by returning to the pre-2001 level of a $1 million exemption and a 55 percent rate to estates, and eliminating the current policy on spousal transfer,” the letter states. “Such an outcome would have a devastating impact on family-owned businesses and farms.”

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