Olympia Snowe on Taxes

Last Updated : Nov 18, 2011

Summary

In 2005, Senator Snowe cosponsored the implementation of PAYGO rules and stated that the rule was an effective tool in bringing needed restraint back to the budget-making process.

Senator Snowe supported the Bush tax cuts and when the cuts were extended in 2005, stated that they provided critical relief to families and small businesses that were facing increasing financial pressure from rising health care costs and energy prices. In 2010, Senator Snowe called President Obama's plan to end the cuts for those making over $250,000 "job killing".

In 2007, Senator Snowe supported the Small Business and Work Opportunity Act of 2007. She worked hard for provisions including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a fifteen-year straight line cost recovery for qualified retail improvements property, an expansion of eligibility for cash method of accounting, and an increase in small business expensing.

 

PayGo Rules

In March of 2005, Senator Snowe released a press statement in support of reinstating statutory paygo rules.

 

Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2005

In November of 2005, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for the Tax Reconciliation Package going through the Senate.

In February of 2006, Senator Snowe hailed the passage of the legislation through the Senate

 

Small Business and Work Opportunity Act

In January of 2007, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting items she would have liked to have seen included in the Small Business and Work Opportunity Act.

 

Ban on Internet Taxes

In January of 2007, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting her support for legislation to enact a permanent ban on any internet taxes.

 

Wells Fargo Interview

In 2007, Senator Snowe was interviewed by Wells Fargo and spoke about a number of small business and tax related issues.

 

Taxes and the Stimulus

In January of 2009, Senator Snowe released a press statement noting the list of taxes she hoped to see within an upcoming stimulus.

 

 The Jobs Report

In October of 2010, Senator Snowe was interviewed on "The Jobs Report" and spoke about the need to continue all of the Bush tax cuts.

 

Support for Tax Reform

In September of 2011, Senator Snowe issued a press statement noting her support for overall tax reform and not higher taxes.

 

Tax Complexity Adversely Affects Jobs

In June of 2011, Senator Snowe issued a press statement noting her view that the complexity of the tax code was adversly affecting job creation.

 

Voting Record

Continue Bush Tax Cuts for all Except top Earners

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts with the exception of those earning more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. The measure passed 51-48 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. Olympia Snowe voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Olympia Snowe voted against extending the Bush Tax Cuts for all except the highest earners.

Continue All Bush Tax Cuts

On July 25, 2012 the Senate voted on an amendment to legislation to extend all of the Bush tax cuts. The measure failed 45-54 along mostly party lines. It was largely symbolic as tax bills are not legal unless they originate in the House. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of extending all Bush Tax cuts.

The Alternative Minimum Tax

The alternative minimum tax was created to ensure that a few of the richest Americans did not exploit loopholes to avoid paying any taxes. It was never intended to be a method of taxing the general population. Unfortunately, the amount that a person earns before the tax goes into effect was not indexed to inflation. Therefore, each year Congress must enact a "fix" to adjust the amount. Occasionally, a larger increase is proposed than inflation adjustment. Income from the tax was accounted for in the 2009 budget. According to the rules of PAYGO (Pay As You Go), a decrease in the amount of money taken in must be offset by a reduction in spending. This amendment sought to exempt the AMT from that rule, to more accurately reflect the purpose of the tax. The amendment failed with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it in a 47-51 vote. Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to exempt the AMT from PAYGO rules.

The Estate Tax

The estate tax is a tax levied on the assets or estates of wealthy individuals when they pass away. The tax collects a percentage of the estates which are valued above a given amount. This amendment sought to raise the value of the estates affected from $1 Million to $5 Million, and to lower the maximum rate at which the estate can be taxed from 45% to 35%. The argument for the change was that many small farms now fell under this tax. The opposition stated that not enough revenue would be collected is the amount was raised, as the tax would affect only 0.2% of estates instead of 0.5% under the current limits. The amendment failed in a 50-50 vote with most Republicans supporting the amendment and most Democrats opposing it. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the amendment to raise the value of the estates affected to $5 Million and to lower the maximum rate to 35%.

The Estate Tax

In 2007, an amendment was proposed which would have raised the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%. This amendment would have also made the 2006 extended rates for capital gains and dividends permanent. The amendment was supported by most Republicans and opposed by most Democrats and failed in a 47-51 vote. Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to raise the value of applicable estates to $5 Million and set the maximum rate at 35%.

Full Repeal of AMT

In 2007, congress made and attempt to repeal the alternative minimum tax (AMT) completely. The legislation was defeated in a 44-53 vote with most Republicans supporting the legislation and most Democrats opposing it. Olympia Snowe voted against repealing the AMT.

Olympia Snowe voted against repealing the AMT.

Pension Protection Act of 2006

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 addressed regulations governing employer-sponsored pensions and acted to make the portions of the 2001 act which allowed higher contributions to IRAs. with the support of both parties. The bill got wide support from both parties and passed 93-5. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act

In 2006, the senate voted on theEstate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act. This bill would have increased the estate tax exclusion to $5,000,000, effective 2015, and repealed the sunset provision for the estate and generation-skipping taxes. It would also have lowered the estate tax rate to equal the current long-term capital gains tax rate for taxable estates up to $25 million and repealed the estate tax deduction paid to states. The bill failed to pass in a 56-42 vote. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act.

Death Tax Repeal Permanancy Act

In 2006, the Senate voted on legislation that would have permanantly repealed the "Death" or Estate Tax. The legislation was rejected on a 57-41 vote. Most Republicans supported the legislation and most Democrats opposed it. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of ending the Death Tax.

Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 extended previously lowered dividend income and capital gains through 2010, and made an increase to the AMT exemption. It also eliminated income restrictions on high-income taxpayers for converting traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to Roth IRAs. Most Republicans supported the legislation and about 1/3 of teh Democrats supported it. The bill passed in a 66-31 vote. with the support of both parties. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005.

American Jobs Creation Act of 2004

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 allowed individuals to claim a deduction for state and local sales taxes paid, in lieu of deducting state income taxes. It also increased tax credits for business investment abroad, and temporarily increased the expensing provisions for corporations. The bill passed 69-13 '); echo('with the support of both parties. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.

Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004

The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 extended the 10 percent bracket on income tax created in the 2001 legislation, doubled the child tax credit, extended the previous AMT exemption and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. The legislation was widely supported and passed 92-3. Olympia Snowe voted against the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Olympia Snowe voted against the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003

In the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief reconciliation Act of 2003 tax rates on realized capital gains received by individual shareholders were reduced from 10 percent (for taxpayers in tax brackets where the ordinary income tax rate was 15 percent or below) and 20 percent (for all other brackets) to 5 percent and 15 percent, respectively, through 2007 and to 0 and 15 percent in 2008. It also adjusted the AMT exemption limit, expanded the child tax credit, and accelerated some of the earlier aspects of the previous laws. The conference report was agreed to in a 50-50 vote with most Republicans supporting it and most Democrats opposing it. Olympia Snowe voted against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Olympia Snowe voted against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.

Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002

The main provision of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 was to create a bonus depreciation. This bonus depreciation allowed firms to claim extra deductions for depreciation of a long-term physical capital investment during the early years. This reduces corporate profits and therefore taxes. The act got wide support from both parties and passed 85-9. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

The first piece of legislation was passed in 2001 as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 The act was especially sweeping. Its two most prominent changes were a phased-in reduction in income tax rates and a reduction and eventual repeal (at the beginning of 2010) of the estate tax. It also provided a wide range of tax breaks for education, families with children, married couples, and contributions to certain kinds of savings accounts. While all republicans voted in favor of this legislation, most democrats opposed it. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.

The Marriage Penalty

In 2001, an amendment was put forth to expand the 15% tax bracket and eliminate the "marriage penalty". The offset would be accounted for by reducing the marginal tax rate reductions for the top two rate brackets. The amendment was supported by most of the Democrats and opposed by most of the Republicans. The amendment failed in a 44-56 vote. Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to end the marriage penalty.

Olympia Snowe voted against the amendment to end the marriage penalty.

Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000

In 2000, the senate attempted to pass the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000. This act would have ended the marriage penalty by adjusting the 15% tax bracket accordingly. Most Republicans supported the act and most Democrats opposed it. The act passed the senate in a vote. The bill was eventually vetoed by the President. Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000.

Olympia Snowe voted in favor of the Marriage Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2000.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-S 871; Savings for Working Families Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

A bill to establish and provide for the treatment of Individual Development Accounts, and for other purposes.

Session-111; Bill Number-S 181; Permanent Marriage Penalty Relief Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Makes provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 that eliminate the marriage penalty in the standard deduction, the 15-percent tax bracket, and the earned income tax credit, permanent.

References

[1] Website: Wells Fargo Article: Senator Olympia Snowe: Small Business Watchdog Author: NA Accessed on: 02/01/2011

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