|Congressman Higgins Calls Upon President to Reject Proposed Tax Reforms|
|October 19, 2005|
Washington, DC—In a letter to President George W. Bush, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) condemned two changes proposed by the President’s Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform, calling the provisions shortsighted and devastating to the residents of Erie and Chautauqua Counties.
“It is imperative that the President recognizes the hardships these changes would place upon the hard-working residents in Western New York, many of whom rely on a dual income household to provide their families with food, clothing, shelter and a reasonable quality of life,” said Congressman Higgins.
Specifically, Congressman Higgins is opposing any proposal to limit the income tax deduction for employer-paid health insurance premiums. Such a measure would not only produce a disincentive for employers to provide health insurance, it would shift the tax burden to employees. Higgins insists this proposal would only swell the ranks of the uninsured which currently exceeds a staggering 200,000 in Western New York and 45 million across the nation.
In addition, the Congressman is critical of a plan to eliminate the income tax deduction for state and local taxes, pointing out how it would disproportionately impact on states such as New York which have relatively high local and state taxes. “In essence this would create an unfair ‘double tax’ whereby New Yorkers are forced to pay federal tax on the portion of their income they already send to Albany, local municipalities and school districts,” added Higgins.
The Panel is due to submit its report to the President on November 1, 2005.