WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 17, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for two years and for reforming the estate tax. The Senate passed the same bill earlier this week and now it heads to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
“The Big ‘I’ is pleased with last night’s bipartisan vote in the House and action in the Senate earlier this week to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Our economy is still recovering from a recession and without this legislation, small businesses like many independent insurance agencies and those that line Main Streets across America, would suffer the biggest tax hikes in recent history.”
The bill reflects the deal President Obama made with the Republican leadership last week and includes a two year extension of current marginal tax rates, dividend and capital gains tax rates, a one year 2% Social Security payroll tax reduction, sets the estate tax rate at 35% with a $5 million exemption for two years, extends unemployment insurance for another 13 months and provides for an alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch through 2011. Without this week’s actions in Congress and the president’s signature, which is expected soon, all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts would have expired at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
“This two year extension of all current rates will help remove the uncertainty looming over the tax code, bolster our economy and allow small businesses to plan, hire and grow,” says Charles E. Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “We look forward to working with Congress and the White House over the next two years for real tax reform and to ensure small businesses are not further burdened as they work to jump-start our economy.”
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.