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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

U.S. House members want sales tax deduction



Repbulican and Democratic U.S. House members from Florida are urging Florida's U.S. senators, Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Mel Martinez, to make sure the Senate votes to extend the sales-tax deduction granted to residents of states that don't have income taxes.

In a letter to the senators Wednesday, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, and twelve colleagues from both parties write, "As the end of this legislative session draws near, we are increasingly concerned about the expiration of the state sales tax deduction. We respectfully ask that you do everything possible to urge the Senate leadership to include the state sales tax deduction in any legislation that will be signed into law before the end of this session."

The extension would allow taxpayers from Florida and several other states to write off a portion of the state sales taxes they pay. The idea is to give them the same sort of tax benefit as residents of states with state income taxes, which are deductible from one's federal tax bill.

"We have heard from constituents who are increasingly concerned about whether or not they will be able to use this deduction," the representatives wrote. "Extending the deduction will act as a direct stimulus to Florida’s ailing economy. Providing Florida residents with the assurance of an extension of the state sales tax deduction will let our constituents make decisions about their future — including major purchases that can stimulate our economy, such as cars, appliances, and home renovations."

The House has passed a bill extending the tax deductions. The Senate voted against limiting debate on a bill including the measure back in July, effectively killing it for the time being. Congress is expected to adjourn at the end of next week.


[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:48am]


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