FOR RELEASE July 31, 2012
Contact: Gary Zuckett, 304-346-5891
Report Shows Impact to West Virginians of Ending Bush Tax Cuts for Richest 2%
Wealthy Few Would Still Reap Significant Tax Breaks
(Charleston, WV – July 31, 2012) If the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Republican plan this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for households making over $250,000, the wealthiest 1.7 percent of West Virginians in that income group could get a disproportionate 29 percent of the total tax breaks in their state. They’re average tax cut would be about $25,000.
In contrast, if Congress passed the Senate’s plan (supported by both WV Senators) to extend the Bush tax cuts on the first $250,000 in household income, the average tax cut for West Virginians who make over than that amount would be about $13,000, nearly half what they would get under the GOP plan. And the 33 percent of West Virginians earning income up to $25,000 would get larger average tax cuts under the Senate’s plan than under the House Republican plan.
Those are among the key findings of a new report released today by West Virginia Citizen Action “Time to Pay Their Fair Share: West Virginians Can’t Afford to Extend the Bush-era Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Few.” The report is authored by Americans for Tax Fairness, Citizens for Tax Justice and the National Women’s Law Center.
The report is timely because this week the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Republican plan to extend all the Bush tax cuts, including for the richest 2 percent of U.S. households, while ending improvements in tax credits for low-end and moderate-income families. The Democrats will offer an alternative plan similar to President Obama’s, which the U.S. Senate passed last week with the support of both Senator Manchin and Rockefeller by a 51 to 48 vote.
“Giving lavish tax breaks for those who need them the least is exactly the kind of special-interest giveaways Washington needs to stop,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of WV Citizen Action, a member of the Americans for Tax Fairness campaign. “We urge the House to end the Bush-era tax cuts to the richest 2 percent.”
Major findings of the report include:
The additional tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent in the Republican plan will cost approximately $68 billion next year alone. That’s equal to what the federal government spends to repair highways, improve education and provide school breakfasts for low-income children, ensure clean drinking water, and deliver meals at home to frail seniors. The report breaks down what West Virginia’s share of these funds means for its residents:
“We can’t afford to keep giving big tax cuts to the richest 2%,” said Zuckett, “We shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of children, seniors, and families struggling to make ends meet, and we can’t keep borrowing from China. Those who have done well in America should do well by America and pay their fair share.”