Durbin Calls for Extension and Expansion of Middle Class Payroll Tax Cut Before End of Year

[CHICAGO, IL] – Millions of families across America will see their taxes increase by more than $1,000 next year if Congress fails to pass an extension and expansion of President Obama’s middle-class payroll tax credit, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. Failing to pass the payroll tax cut would also result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and a potential 1 percent drop in GDP. On Thursday evening, Republicans in the Senate blocked an effort to pass the Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011, which would not only have extended the payroll tax credit, but would have expanded it—saving the average family in Illinois more than $1,600.


“As we approach the holiday season and the New Year, taxpayers across Illinois will be evaluating last year’s family budgets and beginning to plan for next year. Unfortunately, unless Congress acts, those family budgets will be forced to absorb the cost of a more than $1,000 tax increase. While more than half of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, now is not the time to impose higher payroll taxes on millions of hardworking families. Although we weren’t able to pass the extension last night, we won’t be giving up, and it is absolutely imperative that we extend and expand this payroll tax cut to help working families and our economy before the end of the year,” Durbin said.


The Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 would have reduced the payroll taxes paid by employees to 3.1 percent for one year, increasing the average Illinois family's savings by $1,673.  Approximately 160 million workers across the country – including 6.6 million in Illinois – would benefit from this tax cut. In the Chicagoland area the average family would see savings of $1,628 in Cook County; $2,366 in Lake County; $2,325 in McHenry County; $2,065 in Kane County; $2,280 in DuPage County; and $2,247 in Will County. A statewide county-by-county list of the average family savings is available at http://www.durbin.senate.gov.


The legislation also included a provision to extend the payroll tax cut to small businesses and other employers, providing substantial savings for nearly 260,000 firms in Illinois. In addition, the bill would have incentivized businesses hiring new workers or increasing hours for current workers by eliminating the payroll tax paid by employers on their additional wages.


The Democratic legislation was fully paid for by an income surtax on millionaires and billionaires.