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US & WorldPoliticsSenate passes last minute budget deal

Senate passes last minute budget deal

WASHINGTON — Senate passes bill to avert fiscal cliff tax hikes and spending cuts with an 89-8 vote .

“The House will honor its commitment to consider the Senate agreement if it is passed,” read a joint statement issued by Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). “Decisions about whether the House will seek to accept or promptly amend the measure will not be made until House members — and the American people — have been able to review the legislation.”

Surprisingly the Senate deal prevents a $900 pay raise for lawmakers due to take effect this spring.

From a poster on HP:

Here is what the deal does:
A) All wage earners will see their payroll taxes return to 6.2 percent on earnings up to $113,700 in order to return the funding stream to Social Security and Medicare.

B) Individuals who earn more than $400,000 and couples who make more than $450,000 will see income tax rates increase from 35% to 39.6% For people at those income levels, tax rates on capital gains and dividends are expected to rise to 20%, up from15%. In addition to the capital gain and dividend rates, health care reform will levy a new surtax of 3.8%  on capital gains for wealthy Americans, pushing up the top capital gains rate to 23.8%.

3) Estate tax rates are poised to rise from 35% to 40% for estates valued at more $5 million.

4) Creation of  a permanent inflation “patch” that would shield millions of middle class taxpayers from the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax that is supposed to guarantee that wealthy taxpayers pay a minimum amount of federal income tax, regardless of deductions, credits or exemptions. In essence, it is a flat tax with two brackets — 26% and 28%)

4) Extended Measures/Programs:
Unemployment extended for one year, preserving benefits for 2 million Americans who were at risk for losing benefits at year’s end.
– The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and Obama Opportunity Tax Credit (college tuition credits) will all be extended for five more years.
– One-year extension of the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit, Alternative Energy Credits, along with an extension of the 50 percent Bonus Depreciation for businesses’ capital expenditures.
– One-year extension of the DocFix current Medicare reimbursement rates, shielding participating doctors from a potential 27% cut in reimbursements.

AND…It would also temporarily delay the sequester — i.e., billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts — for another two months….when the debt ceiling debate will be a full force.

This is a developing story.

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