Maryland tax tidbit: charitable checkoffs
Jobs, no jobs and taxes

Lawmaker who helped craft tax cuts
is hired to lobby for their continuation

Former Ways and Means Committee member Jim McCrery has been hired to lobby for extension of the current lower capital gains and qualified dividends tax rates that are set to expire at the end of this year.

Because of sunset provisions in Dubya's tax cuts, the rates on long-term capital gains and certain dividends are among those set to increase on Jan. 1, 2011.

On the capital gains side, that would mean most investors would face a 20 percent rate instead of 15 percent. The tax on some dividends would go from the current 15 percent to the highest ordinary income tax rate, which is now 35 percent.

Obama wants the rate hike to happen as scheduled for taxpayers in households making $250,000 or more. He also wants to increase the top ordinary income tax rate, which would affect dividends, from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Jim_McCrery McCrery and Capitol Counsel LLC, the firm he joined in 2009 after retiring from Congress, are now working for The Alliance for Savings and Investment (ASI).

The coalition, which represents among others the interests of major banking and securities and energy firms, has been around for several years. According to The Hill newspaper, ASI members played a large role in the creation of the tax cuts in 2003 and then their extension in 2006.

The group's prior Capitol Hill involvement obviously was key in the hiring of McCrery.

Before entering Washington's private sector, McCrery spent 20 years in the House representing Louisiana and was a senior Republican member of Ways and Means during consideration of the former administration's tax cuts.

That McCrery is now heading back to his old stomping grounds as a lobbyist to argue for the tax cuts he helped write is no surprise. What is unusual is that it took so long.

McCrery's one-year ban on lobbying expired in January.

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That's an interesting turn of events. McCrery is no undoing the work he did in the past?

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