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The Telegram
  • Hanna: Fiscal cliff deal ‘a big win’ for upstate taxpayers

  • U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is pleased the American Opportunity Tax Credit has been extended for an additional five years under the fiscal cliff deal reached late Tuesday.

    U.S. Representative Richard Hanna was glad the legislation provided permanent tax cuts for most Americans, but would like to have seen more spending cuts.

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  • U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is pleased the American Opportunity Tax Credit has been extended for an additional five years under the fiscal cliff deal reached late Tuesday.
    U.S. Representative Richard Hanna was glad the legislation provided permanent tax cuts for most Americans, but would like to have seen more spending cuts.
    U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was more concerned with the House leadership’s last-minute decision not to put a bill providing aid for Hurricane Sandy victims to a vote.
    President Barack Obama said the fiscal cliff deal reached late Tuesday “protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle-class tax hike. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country.” The package that was passed extends most of the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 and married couples making less than $450,000.
    “This bill provides tax cuts — permanently — for 99 percent of Americans and virtually all of our constituents in upstate New York,” said Hanna, R - Barneveld, in an emailed statement. “This is a big win for upstate taxpayers, families, businesses and farms, as well as the principles of fiscal responsibility. Moving forward, it is important Congress pursue comprehensive tax reform to make our policies even more simple, fair and competitive.”
    “I am pleased the fiscal cliff has been resolved in a bipartisan manner. This deal was not perfect. There are parts of it with which I don’t agree. But the responsibility of governing requires compromise for the benefit of constituents and country and this vote embodied that notion,” he added. “I would have preferred to see more in the way of long-term spending cuts to reduce our immoral national debt, as well as reforms to strengthen our important entitlement programs. The upcoming debt limit, sequestration debate, as well as long-term tax reform will provide us with that opportunity.”
    “The extension of the college tuition tax credit is great news for middle-class families in New York and across the county,” said Schumer in an emailed statement. “Today, a college education is incredibly valuable, but also incredibly expensive, and these savings are needed now more than ever. This tax credit provides real relief for middle-class families by taking one dollar off their taxes for every dollar spent on college tuition — up to $2,500. I’m thrilled it has been extended for an additional five years and will continue to provide real savings for New York families and students.”
    The college tuition tax credit was originally signed into law as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, but was due to expire at the of 2010.
    However, Schumer was able to include a two-year extension as part of the tax package that passed the Senate in 2010. Now the AOTC has been extended through 2017.
    Page 2 of 2 - Schumer was also pleased the House of Representatives acted to avoid the “dairy cliff,” which could have caused the cost of milk to double in 2013, in addition to the absence of any safety net critical to dairy farmers throughout upstate New York. He said failure to act “would have meant chaos for family farmers and sticker shock throughout New York’s supermarkets, with the doubling of milk prices. For months, I have urged the House of Representatives to pass the Senate’s bipartisan five-year Farm Bill, and while the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill is far from perfect, it avoids an unnecessary burden on families, schools and farmers alike.”
    Gillibrand issued a statement responding to House Republican leadership’s decision to deny a vote on the Sandy aid bill. “As many Republicans said on the House floor last night, what House leadership did last night by turning its back on families still suffering from Hurricane Sandy was indefensible and shameful,” she said. “Speaker Boehner should come to Staten Island and tell families trying to rebuild their businesses why they need to wait longer for help. He should come to the Rockaways and tell families trying to rebuild their homes why they need to wait longer for help. But I doubt he has the dignity nor the guts to do it. Speaker Boehner should call his members back for an up or down vote today and allow them to vote their consciences, anything less is an insult to New York.”
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