Bill Seeks Tax Breaks for Men (and Women) with Facial Hair

Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett sends "Stache Act" over to Ways and Means committee.

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The American Mustache Institute claims to have found an ally in Maryland Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. The 19-year congressman rocks a white stache of his own and has agreed to send down the legislative pipeline the so-called "Stache Act"—a law that would give folks with mustaches up to a $250 tax credit every year.

"He sent it over to Ways and Means [committee] without any recommendation of any kind at all," clarifies Bartlett spokeswoman Lisa Wright.

The mustache lobby argues people with over lip hair deserve a tax break because they spend so much to keep them looking sharp. Call it "facial stimulus"—with money spent on dying, trimming and waxing "contributing to the growth of the economy," proponents say. [Read the U.S. News debate: Should Mitt Romney Pay More in Taxes?]

Whisker proponents say Bartlett has promised to pass the "Stache Act" to the House Ways and Means Committee for study, a first step required for any tax legislation.

"There is a long road ahead for this important legislation," said AMI Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abraham Jonas Froman in a statement on the group's website. "We thank Representative Bartlett for stepping forward in the fight for fiscal parity for people of facial hair—both women and men."

Bartlett spokeswoman Wright declined to characterize the lawmaker's help as an "endorsement" of the whisker write-off.[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

"It is pretty common practice for advocates to portray that there is more than meets the eye," Wright says.

The "Stache Act" is based off of a white paper by Dr. John Yeutter, an Associate Professor of Accounting and Tax Policy at Northeastern State University, which states that the "social and environmental benefits to mustache growth and maintenance contribute to the growth of the economy."

"Given the clear link between the growing and maintenance of mustaches and incremental income ... mustache maintenance costs qualify for and should be considered as a deductible expense," Yeutter wrote.

The group is planning a "Million Mustache March" in Washington on April 1 where they hope to garner more attention for their legislation. [Five Ways to Spin Obama's Tax Plan.]

So far the group has sought to get their message out to Congress by hosting a news conference, meeting with the Congressional Committee on Taxation and teaming up with CATO, a libertarian tax reform group.

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