Three Ga. Democrats favor extending Bush tax cuts

ATLANTA – Three Democratic Congressmen from Georgia oppose President Obama on his position to allow the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts” expire.

Reps. John Barrow, Sanford Bishop and Jim Marshall, all members of the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Democrats, were among 31 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urging that the tax cuts remain in place.

“In recent weeks, we have heard from a diverse spectrum of economists, small business owners, and families who have voiced concerns that raising any taxes right now could negatively impact economic growth,” the letter says. “Given the continued fragility of our economy and slow pace of recovery, we share their concerns. We believe in times of economic recovery it makes good sense to maintain things as they are in the short term.”

Meanwhile, Bishop also sent a letter to Pelosi, Hoyer and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin to also consider “substantial relief in the estate tax.”

“Beginning next year, the estate tax is scheduled to increase to its highest rate in a decade,” Bishop wrote. “A higher estate tax rate would have a severe impact on farmers and small business owners in Georgia’s Second Congressional District. If Congress does not take action before the end of this year, the resulting higher estate tax could affect 10% of American farms, 98% of which are family-owned and operated.”

He added: “While I would personally prefer a full repeal of the estate tax, the alternative of Congress doing nothing would be far worse – uncertainty in future estate planning as well as a higher tax rate and a lower exemption amount in 2011.”

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