Let’s work together to protect our seniors

One thing many of our seniors say, again and again, is that dividend income is a regular stream of income they depend on, and that we should keep taxes on this income low.


Dividend income comes through each quarter, when most American companies make payments to tens of millions of Americans who own shares in U.S. businesses. Right now, taxes on dividend income are low, but Congress must act to keep it that way. Without action, those tax rates will expire on Dec. 31 and potentially go to higher levels, hurting seniors and others who depend on dividend income.

I was glad to see that the president’s proposed budget would keep the tax rate on dividends at the current level for low and middle income Americans. Low-income taxpayers will continue to pay no tax at all on dividend income, and middle-income taxpayers will pay a rate of 15 percent.

I believe it is important to take action to keep these rates in place before the Dec. 31 deadline. In 2007, over 27 million American families received dividend income, and fully two-thirds of those households made less than $100,000 per year. In addition, millions of seniors rely on a steady stream of dividend income in their retirement.

As we work together to turn our economy around, I will keep listening to seniors and business leaders in South Florida. What I hear them say again and again is, “Keep our taxes low,” and we can do just that when it comes to dividend incomes.

Klein represents Florida’s 22nd district, which includes portions of Broward and Palm Beach counties. He serves on the House Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees, and is a member of the moderate, pro-growth New Democrat Coalition.