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Representative Gail Phillips Session:
State Capitol, Room 411
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2689
Fax: (907) 465-3472
Send E-Mail

345 W Sterling Highway, Suite 102
Home, AK 99603
Phone: (907) 235-2921
Fax: (907) 235-4008

Sponsor Statement for HJR 20
Removing the Marriage Tax Penalty

Urging the Congress to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to eliminate the marriage penalty by providing that income tax rate bracket amounts, and the amount of the standard deduction, for joint returns shall be twice the amounts applicable to unmarried individuals.

Updated: March 15, 1999

For the past 28 years, married couples have paid a higher tax rate and have received a lower standard deduction than two single individuals under the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986. This resolution sends a message to Congress emphasizing the Alaska Legislature's support of removing that penalty.

In the past year, nearly 21 million married couples paid an average of $1,400 more in taxes because of the marriage penalty. You have in your packets today a schedule that shows the differences in the 1998 federal individual income tax rates and the standard deductions allowed. The average family is now paying more money in taxes than it spends on housing, food, and clothing combined. With the Federal Government projected to run a surplus of $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years, there is currently an opportunity for Congress to cut taxes so that working Americans can keep more of their hard-earned money.

At this time, there are several bills before Congress proposing eliminating the marriage tax penalty primarily through increasing the standard deduction allowed for married couples and adjusting the tax brackets. I hope you will support this effort by passing this resolution seeking changes to the tax code and demonstrate your willingness to honor the institution of marriage rather than penalize it.

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