POLITICS
12/02/2010 01:04 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

NAM Opposes Bill That Cuts Taxes For Middle Class

WASHINGTON -- The largest manufacturing association in the United States on Thursday blitzed the House of Representatives with a letter urging them to oppose a Democratic-authored provision to extend current tax rates for only those families making up to $250,000-a-year.

The National Association of Manufacturers — an organization that carries cachet on the Hill for its representation of many businesses in the industrial sector — wrote each House office a plea to oppose H.R. 4853, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010.

"Manufacturers strongly support extending the 2001 and 2003 tax relief for all taxpayers," the organization's Executive Vice President Jay Timmons wrote. "Over 70 percent of American manufacturers file as S-corporations or some other pass-thru entity and will be significantly impacted by these higher rates." According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, fully extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would add between 600,000 and 1.4 million jobs in 2011 and between 900,000 and 2.7 million jobs in 2012.

"We urge Congress to reject this legislation and move toward extending all of the current tax rates"

Timmons also noted that NAM would likely use a members vote on H.R. 4853, "including potential procedural motions," as part of its report card for determining who to support in the upcoming elections.

Coming the morning of the House vote, NAM's letter is more a dramatic than a sustained lobbying push. But that didn't tick off Democrats on the Hill. Offices who received the plea scoffed at the framing it adopted. For starters, small businesses would largely see their tax rates stay the same under the Democratic-authored legislation. More than that, the notion that the bill being considered constituted a tax increase is technically false. The reason rates are rising is because Republican lawmakers wrote a bill in 2001 that sun-setted in 2011.

"There is not a single provision in this bill that will raise taxes," wrote one incredulous Democratic aide. "Those provisions were included in the 2001 / 2003 Republican bills.

"The bill is also silent on the top personal rate - current law would result in a rate of 39.6%, but that law was written by Congressional Republicans when they passed the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and set the expiration date of 12/31/10."

BELOW IS THE FULL NAM LETTER:

Dear Representatives:

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States, urges you to oppose H.R. 4853, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010.

Tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003, which repealed the estate tax and lowered both individual tax rates and tax rates on investment income, helped spur economic growth. Now, however, absent immediate congressional action, these lower rates will expire, resulting in a top income tax rate of nearly 40 percent, a 164 percent increase in the dividend tax and the return of a 55 percent estate tax on family-held companies.

Manufacturers strongly support extending the 2001 and 2003 tax relief for all taxpayers. Over 70 percent of American manufacturers file as S-corporations or some other pass-thru entity and will be significantly impacted by these higher rates. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, fully extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would add between 600,000 and 1.4 million jobs in 2011 and between 900,000 and 2.7 million jobs in 2012.

We urge Congress to reject this legislation and move toward extending all of the current tax rates.

The NAM's Key Vote Advisory Committee has indicated that votes on H.R. 4853, including potential procedural motions, merit consideration for designation as Key Manufacturing Votes in the 111th Congress.