Stalled tax relief bill attached to rescue package

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The Senate has sweetened its $700 billion rescue package for tottering financial companies with tax breaks broad enough to save 20 million people an average $2,000 a year in higher taxes and narrow enough to help a makers of wooden toy bow-and-arrow sets.

The tax relief package has a little something for a lot of people: In addition to adjusting the alternative minimum tax, saving more than 20 million from seeing a big jump in their tax bill next April, it has tax relief for disaster victims and measures to promote renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power. It renews an expired R&D credit, essential to many businesses, and extends individual tax breaks for college tuition and teachers' out-of-pocket expenses.

The tax package has some measures to bring in more tax revenues from oil and gas companies, but still would cost about $100 billion over 10 years.

"Adding tax relief that creates jobs, supports families and secures a new energy future for the country make this bill a lot fairer and a lot better for hardworking, taxpaying Americans," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

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