Tuesday April 05, 2011 | 01:52 PM

Sen. Olympia Snowe played a role in the Senate’s repeal today of the unpopular “1099” tax form filing requirement first included in the health care reform law.

The Maine Republican also targeted for repeal a lesser-known requirement that extended the mandate to rental property owners.
The Senate bill approved today in a bipartisan 87-12 vote included the repeal of the tax filing mandates on both small business and rental property owners. The bill now goes to the White House, which has indicated President Obama will sign it into law.
Snowe is the top Republican on the Senate’s small business committee and crafted the provision including the repeal of the rental property 1099 requirement that was added to the overall repeal authored by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.
The case for repealing the filing requirement was that it would prove too onerous and expensive for business owners, and, Snowe added, rental property owners, too. The rental properly requirement was added to the law as part of a small business bill approved last year, and would be in effect for 2011 for income tax filing purposes. The main point of contention was how to make up the increased tax revenues meant to be generated by the reporting requirement, and the bill passed today does that by mandating that people who wrongly receive federal health insurance subsidies pay them back to the government.
Snowe spoke on the Senate floor just prior to the Senate vote.
“The rental real estate was added to this paperwork morass, and what’s disconcerting is the fact that it affects directly those states that depend on tourism such as my state of Maine with respect to rental property,” Snowe said, “It is going to be very important to make sure that people understand that this requirement will be repealed as part of this legislation.”

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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