The Fine Print: Senate Tax Bill Isn't All That It Seems New York Times Online (05/15/01) Vol. 4, No. 2 p.A46; Rosenbaum, David E.
Critics of the Senate tax bill say the legislation is loaded
with discrepancies that provide limited relief to taxpayers in the long
run. One provision of the tax bill being scrutinized is the estate tax,
which the legislation proposes to repeal by 2011. Opponents note that
those taxpayers with estates large enough to owe taxes before the repeal
date will owe more after the repeal. Another anomaly addresses how the
bill proposes to raise the amount of income exempt from the alternative
minimum tax. Under the legislation, the increased exemption would only
be in effect from 2002 to 2006, a fact that strikes many as curious
because ostensibly, the purpose of the provision is to prevent millions
of taxpayers from having to pay the alternative tax. In addition, the
legislation proposes to lower taxes for almost all married couples by
raising the standard deduction on joint returns and expanding the amount
of income taxed by 15 percent.