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Tax credits also at stake in fiscal cliff debate, White House says

In new report, Obama administration lays out tax hikes that Oklahomans of various incomes will face if no action is taken before January
by Chris Casteel Published: December 6, 2012

— Oklahoma families would lose valuable tax credits, along with having their income tax rates go up, if no agreement is reached to extend the current tax rates, according to a White House report.

An estimated 447,000 Oklahoma families will lose access to the Child Tax Credit and about 90,000 families in the state will no longer be able to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit that helps pay for college, according to the White House report.

The White House has been pressuring congressional Republicans to extend current income tax rates for 98 percent of taxpayers while allowing rates to rise for the top earners. The rates are set to increase automatically in January. Republicans agree with extending the tax rates for the middle class but don't want rates to go up for upper brackets, saying it would hurt small businesses that file returns under the individual tax code.

President Barack Obama last week called on Americans to urge Congress to extend the tax cuts, and the White House has been waging a public-relations campaign to highlight the potential consequences of letting them expire.

The Obama administration reported last week that 1.3 million Oklahoma families would see their taxes increase if no action is taken before the new year.

The White House report released Wednesday includes specific examples of how the tax increases would hit families at various income levels:

• A family of four with household income of $63,100 could expect a tax increase of $2,200. Of that, $890 would come from merging the 10 percent bracket into the 15 percent bracket; $1,000 would come from reducing the Child Tax Credit from $1,000 to $500 per child; and $310 would come from reducing the standard deduction for married couples.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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