The Senate approved legislation December 6 designed to shield some 19 million American families from being hit by the alternative minimum tax (AMT) this year. Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’s (D-Montana) amendment allows credits and increases the exemptions taxpayers can claim to avoid paying the AMT in 2007, which will prevent the “stealth tax” from applying to those who didn’t pay it last year, the Committee said in a release. The amendment, which does not include offsets for the cost of AMT relief this year, a departure from the”pay-go” approach favored by the Democratic party, “passed after a House bill containing offsets failed to win sufficient votes–and after numerous minority objections before and after the Thanksgiving recess to requests for various votes on the AMT,” the Senate Finance Committee release said. Pay-go requires that new tax cuts and spending programs be offset with spending cuts or tax increases.
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