WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) today opposed legislation that would pave the way for the implementation of destructive tax increases in the New Year. The bill, H.R. 4853, fails to prevent looming tax increases that will stunt economic growth and prolong the current recession.

With tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 set to expire at the end of the 2010 calendar year, Congress must pass legislation extending the current rates before January 1, 2011 to avoid reinstating a top income tax rate of nearly 40 percent, a 55 percent death tax on family-owned small businesses and farms, and the tripling of taxes on investments. Instead of extending all of the relief provisions, the bill considered by the U.S. House of Representatives today will lead to tax increases on our nation’s job creators and investors.

“Raising taxes on hardworking Americans will reduce investment, stifle opportunity and hinder economic growth,” Dent said following the vote. “Particularly in these difficult economic times, we must extend the current tax rates for all Americans. I am especially frustrated that today’s legislation fails to prevent tax increases on small businesses – the very businesses Americans will rely on to create jobs and lead our economic recovery.”

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the largest association of small businesses in the United States, the businesses most likely to experience tax increases as a result of Congress’s failure to act are those employing between 20 and 250 workers. These businesses represent more than 25 percent of the nation’s workforce. Moreover, approximately 50 percent of small business income would be impacted by the tax hikes.

“I am hopeful the U.S. Senate will be able to produce a bill that does not impose higher taxes on any Americans,” Dent concluded.