WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 15, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the United States Senate for passing legislation to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for two years.
“The Big ‘I’ is pleased with today’s bipartisan actions in the Senate to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax rates,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Many small businesses, like the majority of Big ‘I’ agencies, pay taxes at individual rates and would be hardest hit at a time when our economy is still recovering from a recession.”
The bill reflects the deal President Barack 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. Unless Congress passes legislation to prevent these tax increases and President Obama signs the bill into law by the end of the year, many Big “I” members will be greatly impacted.
“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. “The Big ‘I’ calls on the House of Representatives to follow suit and pass the Senate language as quickly as possible with no changes to avoid a huge tax increase on the small businesses that are the backbone of 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.