October 11, 2011

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, opposes S. 1660, the “American Jobs Act of 2011,” and strongly urges you to vote against cloture on the motion to proceed to this legislation. With the U.S. economy still struggling its way out of a recession, the Chamber believes Congress should not burden job creators and investors with onerous new taxes. The bill proposes a variety of temporary tax incentives that at best are unproven or at worst have failed to create permanent new jobs. To pay for these tax incentives, the bill proposes implementing a new 5.6% surtax on incomes over $1 million, which would apply to modified adjusted income before itemized deductions and includes all income such as wages, capital gains, dividends, and interest. The Chamber believes this will do real harm to businesses and the economy. The proposed surtax not only impacts hundreds of thousands of small business owners and operators and almost half of all pass-through income, but it is a permanent tax hike on these businesses to pay for temporary unproven tax incentives. Beginning in 2013, for those earning over $1 million:    Total marginal federal income tax rates would rise to almost 50%; Dividends taxes would increase 227% over current levels to a rate of 49%; and Capital gains taxes would increase 96% over current levels to create a total tax burden of 29.4%.

Make no mistake: the Chamber believes there are specific steps Congress and the administration can take right now to spur faster job growth in America’s private sector without adding to the deficit. However, the Chamber believes the tax hike provided in S.1660 would do harm to America’s business owners – the entrepreneurs who we rely on to create new jobs in our economy – and would deter the investment our economy desperately needs, and would slow economic and job growth. The Chamber may include votes on, or in relation to, this issue—including votes on the motion to proceed to S. 1660, in our annual How They Voted scorecard. Sincerely,

R. Bruce Josten

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