New Senate Democrats Reveal Tax Priorities

Six freshman Democratic Senators joined with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to introduce S. 614, the Middle Class Opportunity Act of 2007, which focuses on the alternative minimum tax, the dependent care credit, the child tax credit, and education credits, NAEA E@lert reports.

In doing so, freshman Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Kobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) appeared eager to reveal which tax issues are their highest priorities.

The bill would raise AMT exemption levels to $43,900 ($65,350 for couples) in 2007 and $45,300 ($68,200 for couples) in 2008. It would expand the dependent care credit to allow filers with up to $75,000 AGI to take the 35% credit on expenses up to $3,000 for one child ($6,000 for two or more), and it would double the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 for the first year in which the child was claimed.

The bill also would consolidate the HOPE credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the college tuition deduction into a single credit of up to $2,500 per student per year. Parents with up to $70,000 AGI ($140,000 for couples) would be eligible for the new credit.

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