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Locals weigh in on payroll tax break extension

House Republicans vote extension down
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Locals are sounding off on a controversial stand the House of Representatives took when it rejected legislation on Tuesday that would extend federal payroll tax cuts, some long-term unemployment benefits and a higher Medicare reimbursement rate for doctors for two months. President Barack Obama said if the payroll tax cuts, which were approved by both Senate Republicans and Democrats, are not approved, tax increases are imminent at the start of 2012. Some local Republicans say the Republican Majority’s decision to vote the payroll tax break extension down was the right one, while other locals say they disagree with the House’s decision. The cut provides relief to 160 million Americans and comes out to about $1,000 a year, or $20 a week, for someone with a $50,000 income, according to the Associated Press. Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he is against the bill because it raises taxes on every mortgage backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “To pay for an additional two months of tax relief under the Senate version or 12 months under the House version, more than $3,000 of new taxes will be imposed on every $150,000 mortgage backed by Fannie or Freddie,” McClintock said in a press release Tuesday. McClintock said those taxes would rise with the value of the mortgages. He agrees with House Majority Leader Speaker John A. Boehner that both the Senate and the House versions need to be revised. “This is atrocious public policy,” McClintock said in the press release. “It shifts the burden for this bill to future homebuyers, kicks the housing market when it’s already down, makes it that much more expensive for home buyers to re-enter that market and adds to the pressures that have chronically depressed everyone’s home values.” Senator Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) and Assemblywoman Beth Gaines (R-Roseville) were not available to comment at press time. Auburn-resident Ron Paitich, who belongs to the Independent Party, said by blocking the payroll tax holiday extension the House Republicans are breaking their pledge to Americans For Tax Reform and it’s leader, Grover Norquist, not to raise taxes. “They’re breaking their commitment. If the House blocks the payroll tax cut, income taxes will go up for working people,” Paitich said. “The power to collect tax is a unique privilege given to congress by our Constitution. It's disturbing that virtually all the GOP in congress have surrendered this power in a pledge to a lobbyist and his organization.” Steve Cavolt, local active Tea Party supporter, said the House and Senate did not make the mortgage tax rolled into the bill public. “No, I do not believe we can afford to extend the payroll tax deductions for another two months much less another year,” Cavolt said. “Yesterday both the House and the Senate tried their attempt at subterfuge with the American people. They attempted to deceive “we the people” by adding a permanent mortgage tax on new home buyers to pay for the payroll tax extension; and of course that was not made public until Congressman Tom McClintock delivered his remarks.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com.