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Obama tax proposal: Who makes more than $250k, and are they rich? (+video)

President Obama has proposed extending the Bush-era tax cuts for households making less than $250,000 a year. Here's a look at who would end up paying higher taxes.

The debate over Bush-era tax cuts
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Under President Obama’s latest proposal, American families with taxable incomes of more than $250,000 a year would get a tax increase next year.

That’s because Mr. Obama is urging Congress to extend the Bush-era tax cuts only on amounts less than that.

So who are the people who would be forking over more of their money to Uncle Sam, and are they rich?

They could be your neighbors, one a banker and the other a lawyer, especially if you live in an expensive high-rise in New York City. Or, it could be the rancher who is still driving a 1980s-era pickup truck. Or, maybe it’s the retiree in Florida who plays tennis every day and still tells his son or daughter how to run the family business. Many are likely to be entrepreneurs.

“Some of these people are small-business owners and employers,” says Don Siegel, dean of the business school at the University at Albany. “They will get slammed because of this tax, the Obamacare taxes, and the increase in taxes on investment income.”

According to US Census data, households with incomes of more than $200,000 a year (there are no Census data for the $250,000 income level) are likely to live in the South, the West, and the Northeast. The largest concentration is in the south Atlantic (think Florida), followed by the Pacific states and then the mid-Atlantic, which includes the New York metro area. The majority don’t live in what the Census terms a “principal city” but may reside in a well-heeled suburb. Very few reside in rural places, outside of metro statistical areas.


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