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Republicans Take Aim at 'Marriage Tax'

The Budget
The Associated Press
Sunday, January 3, 1999; Page A18

Republicans will resurrect legislative efforts in the new Congress to give married couples a tax break by getting rid of the "marriage tax penalty" in existing law, Rep. Gerald "Jerry" Weller (R-Ill.) said yesterday.

GOP lawmakers "will work to make elimination of the marriage tax penalty our top tax-relief priority to help families in 1999," Weller said in the party's weekly radio address.

With Weller as chief sponsor, the House last year passed legislation that would have given about 28 million married couples tax relief. But the measure died because the Senate never acted on it.

"Republicans believe it is wrong and unfair that today's tax code imposes higher taxes on married working couples," Weller said.

"In fact, an average married working couple pays almost $1,400 more in taxes than an identical couple living together outside of marriage," he added.

Although the marriage penalty measure died, the old Congress was successful in other efforts to provide Americans with some tax relief.

For instance, Congress enacted a $500-per-child tax credit, which Weller said will let parents of more than 48 million children keep more of their income.

Congress also increased the deductions for student loan expenses. Weller said that will let about 3 million taxpayers deduct up to $1,500 in student loan interest costs.

© Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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