OU Calls on Senators to Approve Marriage Penalty Rollback

Posted on March 29, 2000 In Press Releases, Family Friendly Tax Policy

In advance of a Senate Finance Committee mark up hearing scheduled for tomorrow, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, through its Institute for Public Affairs called upon members of that panel to approve a measure designed to abolish the tax code’s unfair treatment of married couples.
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 to members of the Senate’s tax writing Finance Committee, Orthodox Union president Mandell Ganchrow and IPA director Nathan Diament, stated that “unequal treatment of married couples 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.” The House has already passed its own version of this legislation and President Clinton endorsed providing relief in this area in his last State of the Union message.