Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today used his seat on the powerful Finance Committee to successfully attach to the economic recovery package a one-year patch to the Alternative Minimum Tax that threatens to unfairly and unexpectedly raise taxes on middle class taxpayers. New Jersey has been the state with the highest rate of taxpayers who would be subject to paying the higher Alternative Minimum Tax if no patch is passed.

"This tax was never meant to burden middle class taxpayers, and we are making sure they are not hit with an unexpected tax increase, particularly during this economic crisis," said Senator Menendez. "By approving this fix, we can ensure that millions of middle class Americans can keep more than $3,000 in their pockets at a time when family budgets are extremely tight. In New Jersey, we have the highest proportion of taxpayers facing an unfair tax hike, and they need relief from this additional burden. It was important for Garden State taxpayers that I use my seat on the Finance Committee to remedy this looming problem. I appreciate the support of the Chairman and my colleagues on the Finance Committee and look forward to seeing this through the full Senate."

The Alternative Minimum Tax was originally created to prevent the wealthiest Americans from skirting higher tax rates, but it was not indexed to inflation and now threatens to raise taxes for millions of middle class Americans.

Before a patch was passed last year, joint taxpayers earning $74,660 or more could have been subject to the paying the higher AMT. In total, more than 1.6 million New Jerseyans faced the higher tax last year before the patch, and many of those were middle class taxpayers. This represented the highest percentage of taxpayers in any state that would have been subject to the AMT.

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