Compromise appears to be in the air as the United States heads toward a fiscal cliff.
U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, has chosen not to re-sign a pledge from his first term with the Americans for Tax Reform, which required him to oppose and vote against any tax increases. His spokeswoman said he still opposes increasing marginal tax rates for any taxpayers and wants to see certain tax deductions ended, but is open to any long-term comprehensive package that comes out of bipartisan negotiations.
This announcement comes as President Barack Obama negotiates with Republicans in the House of Representatives over an agreement on extending the Bush tax cuts and potential spending cuts. An agreement is needed to prevent a variety of tax increases, draconian spending cuts and other potentially harmful economic policies that are set to go into effect on Jan. 1.
As part of a plan to avoid this cliff, Obama is calling for a partial extension of the Bush tax cuts, with rates returning to their previous levels for high-income earners. This plan is supported by U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, and U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh.
Gibson previously has voted against any standalone marginal rates for businesses and individuals. He is still against raising these rates on the basis that closing certain deductions for high-income earners would be better for taxpayers, would still raise revenue for the federal government and not hurt economic growth.
As to whether he would vote for a partial extension of the Bush tax cuts, Gibson spokeswoman Stephanie Valle said it would depend on what he determined would be best for the new 19th Congressional District.
“The congressman signed the pledge as a candidate in 2010 for the 20th Congressional District,” she noted. Because of redistricting he will represent the 19th Congressional District in 2013 and 2014.
Valle added, “He will consider all comprehensive packages brought forward as a result of bipartisan negotiations.”
If the Bush tax cuts are not renewed at all, the White House is predicting negative impacts on spending and retailers in New York.
According to the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers, the median-income family of four in New York would see its income taxes rise by $2,200 if the tax cuts expire. Additionally, 97 percent of families in the state would see their rates remain low if the tax cuts were not extended for earners above $250,000 a year.
The figures advanced by the White House project that a rise in taxes in 2013 would result in New Yorkers spending $13.2 billion less on consumption, which would hurt businesses in the state.