Murkowski Votes to Protect 366,000 Alaskan Households from Tax Hike

Senator Decries “Brinksmanship Politics”

WASHINGTON, DC – With taxes on every Alaskan taxpayer scheduled to rise at the beginning of 2013, Senator Murkowski today voted for H.R. 8 that would avoid a tax hike on Alaskans who make less than $400,000 or families making less than $450,000, along with staving off across-the-board sequestration cuts in federal programs for 2 months – in an attempt to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.”  The bill passed by a vote of 89-8 with overwhelming, bipartisan support.  Senator Murkowski issued the following statement after the vote:

“While this deal avoids a dangerous, job-killing tax hike on Alaskans and postpones sequestration, I share Alaskans’ frustration with brinksmanship politics, racing against the clock when we’ve had months to resolve this.

“At the end of the day, concessions were made on both sides and while this bill isn’t perfect, it does avoid a tax hike on Alaskans making up to $400,000 – meaning 366,000 out of 373,000 Alaskan households filing taxes.  The President’s earlier proposal to raise taxes on Americans making $250,000 could have cost our state nearly 1,800 jobs.

“Other aspects of the bill have direct benefits for Alaskans, as well.  Permanently extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch makes sure that 29,600 Alaskan households will avoid an unnecessary tax hike, and extending unemployment insurance will keep 5,600 Alaskans trying to find gainful employment afloat during their job search. Additionally, the bill includes a provision I sponsored to preserve trust assets for current and future generations of Alaska Native beneficiaries, by establishing a permanent trust level tax rate and lowering the administrative costs associated with providing trust benefits – that’s been an ongoing effort of mine. Also, this bill provides a permanent solution to the death tax for those who have worked hard and want to share their success with future generations.

“As for the across-the-board federal cuts, postponing that sequestration to give us added time to improve that process was also a critical component of the deal. I am satisfied that the offset measures laid out in this plan will pay the cost of a two-month delay.

“I understand Alaskans who think this process leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Elected officials shouldn’t need to wait until the last minute to work together for millions of Americans, especially with so much work yet to be done to address our $16 trillion debt.”

# # #