OU Applauds House Step Toward Marriage Penalty Rollback

Posted on February 11, 2000 In Press Releases, Family Friendly Tax Policy

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs welcomed yesterday’s House passage of a measure eliminating the unfair treatment of married couples by the federal tax code.

Currently, public policy, as embodied by the federal tax code, treats married couples unfavorably as compared to unmarried couples. This is reflected in the simple fact that many married couples filing jointly pays higher taxes than if the same couple with the same earnings paid their taxes separately. This “penalty” hits hard-working, lower to middle income families, with two working parents when the higher-earner of which makes between $20,000 and $75,000 per year.

In a letter sent earlier this week to members of the House’s tax writing Ways & Means Committee, Orthodox Union president Mandell Ganchrow and IPA director Nathan Diament, stated that “unequal treatment by our tax code is unacceptable in an era where America’s public policies must do all they can to encourage and strengthen traditional marriage and family life.” The letter also noted that “in the Jewish tradition, the institution of marriage is recognized as so significant and so central to any society that it is referred to as kiddushin, or ‘holiness.’ America’s traditionally recognized the centrality of marriage as well, and should support it with marriage-friendly public policy.”

Today, in the wake of the House successfully passing the measure and sending to the Senate, Nathan Diament stated that the “House’s action is an important first step in assuring that America’s public policy – including tax policy — is family friendly. We hope the Senate will favorably act on this measure as soon as possible.”