Letters to the Editor

Mattern letter: Tax reform

Congress is considering the largest overhaul or reform to our tax code since Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s. You would think there would be a lot of discussion about what needs to be changed and who gets to be be “overhauled.” All I see is a rush behind closed doors to pass something before the end of the year.

The three biggest items I’m hearing about have to do with elimination of the AMT (alternative minimum tax), elimination of the estate tax and a reduction in the amount we can save for our retirement in a 401(k) account. To qualify the the AMT requires a large amount of wealth or income. The same goes for the estate tax, which really doesn’t kick in until you’ve exceeded $5 million in assets. I can agree with exempting farmers and ranchers who want to hand down their property to a direct-line descendant. So who is really getting the “overhaul” here?

It looks like you and me have to give up our tax deduction, 401(k) accounts, for the wealthy to enjoy a tax reduction by not being subject to the AMT or estate taxes. Sad, very sad.

Frank W. Mattern, Boise