The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) [] is lauding the enactment of legislation that will keep tax rates steady across all income levels.

Had President Obama not signed the legislation last week, all of the cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 would have expired at midnight on New Year’s Eve. In addition to a two year extension of current marginal tax rates, dividend and capital gains tax rates, the bill sets the estate tax rate at 35% with a $5 million exemption for two years. The estate tax provisions are of great importance to independent agencies because many are family owned.

“This two-year extension of all current rates will help remove the uncertainty looming over the tax code, bolster our economy and allow small businesses to plan, hire and grow,” IIABA SVP of government affairs Charles Symington said in a statement.

Among the bills other provisions are an extension of  unemployment insurance for another 13 months and a one year 2% Social Security payroll tax reduction.

“Our economy is still recovering from a recession and without this legislation, small businesses like many independent insurance agencies and those that line Main Streets across America, would suffer the biggest tax hikes in recent history,” added IIABA president & CEO Robert Rusbuldt.

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