The Senate voted 54:44 Thursday on measures to extend until 2010 the 15% long-term tax rate on capital gains and dividends. Approved by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday, Washington-watchers expect President George W. Bush to sign the bill within days. First passed in 2003, Bush has cited the tax package as an important part of his administration's legacy. Initially, provisions surrounding capital gains and dividends were set to expire in 2008, a presidential election year.
The two-year extension alone is expected to save investors $49.4 billion, according to Standard and Poor's. By 2010, investors will have saved $149.7 billion, according to the New York ratings company.