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Baucus Calls For Swift Passage Of Tax Cut 'Extenders'

by Leroy Baker,, New York

02 November 2007

Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Senate's chief tax writer, has called for the swift passage of a complete package of extensions of expiring tax provisions, such as the state and local tax deduction and the college tax credit.

Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman, is working with Democrats and Republicans on the Finance Committee to finalize a full “tax extenders” bill for quick completion as soon as the Senate receives legislation from the House, where all tax bills must originate.

“On behalf of many Senators, I am calling for swift passage of a full tax extenders package," Baucus remarked on the Senate floor on Thursday.

He added that: "I want quick action on extending the college tuition deduction, the sales tax deduction, a provision to prevent the AMT from hitting more taxpayers, and the complete set of expiring tax provisions when the House sends legislation to the Senate. I helped to draft many of these provisions in the first place. Working with the Ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, as we always do, I am trying to get them extended."

While supporting the call for a new tax extenders package, Chuck Grassley, the committee's ranking Republican, urged his committee colleague to ensure that other taxes are not raised to offset the cost of extending the temporary provisions.

"It is too late in the year for a comprehensive review of these provisions, so these provisions should be extended for at least another year," he wrote in a letter to Baucus.

"Most of us believe it is inappropriate to raise taxes in a permanent way to 'offset' the cost of extending these expiring provisions for a short period of time. We will, of course, work with you to pass an extension of the expiring provisions without increasing taxes," Grassley's letter concluded.

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