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Nevadans Ponder Dueling Plans to Extend Bush Tax Cuts

August 1, 2012

LAS VEGAS - A vote could come as early as today in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democrats' latest plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year.

Bob Fulkerson, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, says the average Nevadan makes about $56,000 a year - and, in his view, clearly needs a tax break.

As for those making more than $250,000? Fulkerson says those very few Nevadans are already doing very well.

"There's only 2.6 percent of Nevadans who fall into that category, and they average $972,000 a year."

The Democrats' plan closely follows a measure that cleared the Senate last week. House Republicans want to see the tax cuts extended for wealthy Americans, whom they view as job creators. Fulkerson says that GOP plan would cost taxpayers $68 billion more than the Democratic plan, not including the interest on the national debt.

Linda Turner, a Medicare recipient from Henderson, believes Republican concerns about plans to increase taxes on the wealthy are misplaced because they are not the real job creators.

"It's only a 3 percent increase for the top bracket. The real job creators are people like me, because we spend our money. Because of us, grocery stores stay in business, or wherever we shop."

Fulkerson says the group Americans for Tax Fairness has taken a close look at the Republican plan and finds it would give a large break to only a few taxpayers in Nevada.

"Incomes over $250,000 are going to get a tax cut of $45,000. Those in the Republican plan who are making under that are going to get a tax break of $1,200. We don't think that's fair."

The GOP plan focuses on slightly more than 300,000 wealthy Americans, he says, while the focus of the Democratic plan impacts more than 100 million Americans.

The report is online at americansfortaxfairness.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV