Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Early this morning, Senator John Thune voted in favor of the Tax Relief Act of 2005, legislation that would continue existing tax policy and avoid significant tax increases in the five-year period by extending certain expiring provisions. This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 64-33.

"Today's tax relief package protects millions of American taxpayers from tax increases. Specifically, this bill extends tax relief for South Dakota small businesses, school teachers, and middle and low-income families," Thune said. "The tax relief passed by Congress in 2001 and 2003 has helped grow our economy and create jobs. Today's bill extends several of those tax relief provisions set to expire, which shield South Dakota taxpayers from what would otherwise be large tax increases. The bill also extends to South Dakotans who itemize on their taxes the ability to deduct their state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes.

"This package could have been even better. I was disappointed this bill did not extend the tax relief on dividends and capital gains. Extending this tax relief would allow families and businesses to invest, save and contribute to our economy.

"Today's action in the Senate is a step towards making tax relief permanent, which will set our economy on a steady path toward continued growth. I will continue to work to see that South Dakota paychecks stay in the wallets of hard-working South Dakotans, not Uncle Sam."

Highlights from the Tax Relief Act of 2005:
  • Extends small business expensing increase by 2 years.

  • Extends the higher education tuition deduction by 4 years.

  • Extends Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemption levels by 1 year.

  • Extends of the Research and Development Tax Credit by 1 year.

  • Extends state and local sales tax deductions in lieu of deductions for state and local income taxes for 1 year.

  • Extends the deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers by 1 year.