Tax reform conferees target relief for mid-income Americans

Relief for middle-income taxpayers will be at the top of the agenda when congressional bargainers meet next month to draft compromise tax-overhaul legislation, the House's chief tax writer says. Congressional bargainers will begin meeting in mid-July to draft a compromise between the bill the Senate passed Tuesday on a 97-to-3 vote and a less dramatic version the House approved last December.

``How we treat middle-income families is going to be probably the most important'' issue facing the negotiators, Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D) of Illinois, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Wednesday on a morning television show.

Senate majority leader Robert Dole (R) of Kansas said on the same program: ``I think the House bill is a bit better in that area.'' But he declined to say that he would support higher rates for upper-income people to finance more relief for the middle class.

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