Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Schumer Stumps for Dan

New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Democratic Congressional Candidate Dan Maffei discussed tax relief for middle class families at a North Syracuse gas station today.

Maffei said, "Multi-millionaires and big oil companies have reaped huge tax breaks while working families have been left behind. As your Congressman, I will provide desperately-needed tax relief to working families and invest in local small businesses right here at home."

Today, Schumer and Maffei pointed to 2006 third-quarter earnings estimates released last week where Chevron earned a record profit of $5.0 billion and ExxonMobil earned $10.5 billion -- the second highest quarterly profit ever by a publicly-traded company, bested only by the $10.7 billion that ExxonMobil earned in the fourth quarter of 2005.

In support of Maffei, Senator Schumer said, "This election is about the direction of our country. Dan Maffei will stand up for the needs of the middle class, and that begins with tax relief. For hard-working New York families with students in or headed to college, nothing could be more important than making tuition tax deductible. Dan Maffei is principled, a strong candidate, and will make a great Congressman for Central New York."

Maffei and Schumer specifically pointed to the college tuition tax deduction, passed into law in 2001 based on bi-partisan legislation written by Schumer. The deduction originally allowed middle-income families to deduct $3,000 from their tax return, but was increased to $4,000 a year in 2004. Last year, single filers who made up to $65,000 a year and married couples with incomes up to $130,000 qualified for the tuition deduction. There was also a smaller, $2,000 deduction for those who earned more.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, an estimated 102,737 upstate New York middle class families took advantage of the tax deduction during the 2003 tax year, the last year for which data is available. However, in May, language extending the tax break for another three years was eliminated from the tax reconciliation bill in favor of restoring $5 billion worth of tax breaks for the major oil companies.

Maffei and Schumer today said that the critical tax break that saves middle class families thousands of dollars every year is needed now more than ever because college tuition costs are continuing to skyrocket.

Senator Schumer is a member of the Democratic Leadership in the U.S. Senate and serves on the powerful Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over U.S. tax policy. Dan Maffei is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in New York's 25th Congressional District. Together, Senator Schumer and future Congressman Maffei will fight to restore critical tax breaks for working families, rather than giveaways to big oil corporations.

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