National Tax Group to Congress: Divorce the Marriage Penalty Tax

By Americans for Tax Reform | July 7, 2008 | 8:24pm EDT

News Release

Washington - Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) endorsed Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and Sam Brownback's (R-Kan.) call to eliminate the marriage penalty tax.

"The bottom line is that the marriage tax is very real to many working couples in this country. For many Americans, the average marriage tax is almost equal in value to half a year of car payments. With that $1,400 at their discretion, a couple could save for their child's education," said Grover G. Norquist, president of ATR.

Increasing the standard deduction for married couples and raising the income level at which higher tax rates take effect is an effective way to end the marriage penalty tax without increasing the complexity in the tax code. It would also provide substantial tax relief at a time in which the tax burden consumes more of the economy's output than ever before.

More than 21 million couples are paying above and beyond their fair share: 56 percent of those families have incomes of less than $50,000; 12 percent less than $20,000. The tax burden on families has been growing. The average family now pays 38 percent of its income in taxes to federal, state and local governments.

"This tax has the effect of driving lower-earning spouses out of the workforce. There is a clear economic argument for its repeal. The marriage penalty is bad tax policy," concluded Norquist.

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