Israel to Cede 6% More Land

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat met with President Clinton yesterday and announced that Israel has agreed to transfer an additional 6 percent of the West Bank to Palestinian control.

Arafat said he met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak just before leaving for the United States.

"Within two weeks we will receive the 6 percent . . . this is something that Prime Minister Barak and I agreed to 24 hours, 48 hours before" his departure, he said.

It was unclear, however, whether the two sides had agreed on exactly what land would be handed over, which has been a stumbling block.

Clinton said he is convinced that Arafat is "proceeding in great good faith."

College Education Tax Credit

President Clinton proposed a tax credit designed to make college education more affordable, saying that "when we open the doors to college we open the doors to opportunity." The program's centerpiece is a $30 billion, 10-year initiative that would make higher education more affordable for millions. When the credit is fully phased in, a family could receive a tax deduction of up to $10,000 for tuition, fees and training. Alternatively, taxpayers could seek a maximum credit of $2,800 a year.

Easing Impact of Minimum Tax

The Clinton administration proposed changes in the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to prevent the levy--designed to keep the rich from escaping income tax through deductions and other "preference items"--from falling on middle class taxpayers with large families. The AMT requires that taxpayers calculate their taxes the normal way, then recalculate them using a special formula that eliminates personal exemptions and a number of deductions, including state and local taxes.

This formula is not adjusted for inflation, so that a steadily growing number of moderate-income taxpayers are being hit by the AMT. For example, this year a family with five children and $70,000 of income could have to pay it. The Clinton plan would cost an estimated $33 billion over 10 years.