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View Sample Pages : Aiken Standard, May 15, 2011

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 15, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina COMINGMONDAY Navy SEAL discusses why he believes evidence of bin Laden’s death should be not be presented to the public. Are you behind or do you anticipate getting behind on your mortgage payments? Are you facing foreclosure? MORTGAGE DEFAULT AND FORECLOSURE CLINIC Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 6:00 PM H. ODELL WEEKS CENTER 1700 WHISKEY ROAD, AIKEN SC 29803 Bring current mortgage statement, any other legal documents, recent pay stubs and/or other proof of household income, most recent utility bill, bank statement and tax return with W-2'a. Hosted by Community Development and improvement Corporation 560 Jefferson Davis Highway, Graniteville, SC 29829, 803.663.6848 WE ACCEPT OFFICE WALK-INS! blirt* to Calendar 3C Classifieds ID Crossword INSIDE Comics INSIDE Dear Abby 4C Horoscopes 4C Living on the Go IC Movie Listings 3C Opinions 14-15A Sports IB TV Listings INSIDE Weather ISA .mn. Enjoy a Sunday May 15,20! I Vol. 145, No. 135    Your    lineal Source' Since I <S(>7 ----------------- -- BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL FAIR TAX ACT: Fair for A LOOK AT THE BILL, TAX By ANNA DOLIANITIS Staff writer Staff photo by Suzanne Stone Clouds didn't keep the crowds away Saturday at the 2011 Aiken Bluegrass Festival. Despite weather, bands jam on By SUZANNE R. STONE Staff writer Musicians at the 2011 Aiken Bluegrass Festival played on despite Saturday’s spring showers. “We continue unless there’s thunder; lightning is what makes us stop,” said organizer Jeannie Groat, “lf the rains come, we stop and hope it doesn’t last too long. If the rain blows sideways and gets on the stage, we’ll stop and dry things off, but we’ll keep going.” PIMM Me BLUEGRASS, page 11A Alpha Cover Jenkins, Aiken Audrey Copeland Garrison, Rock Hill Joy Le Trail Thomas, Aiken Jesse (Jose) Tracey III, Aiken Martha J. Davis, Aiken William C (Bill) Marx, Aiken Lonnie Daugherty, Aiken Tom Hutto, Beech Island Wilbur "Woody" Holmes, Sandy Springs, Ga. Thomas Richard Gabriel, Aiken William J. “Bill" Mottel, North Augusta Deaths and Funerals 16-7A The Fair Tax, a national sales tax based on consumption that does away w ith earn mg-based taxes, is an issue that has had its merits questioned over the past few years, with taxpayers debating on either side. USC Aiken economists Karen Bdg-ington and Dr. Paul Newsom shared their expertise on what impact the Fair Tax could have if implemented and what the likelihood would be of the Fair Tax replacing the United States’ current tax code. What is the Fair Tax? The Fair Tax Act, known as HR-25 in the House of Representatives and S-I3 rn the Senate, is a piece of legislation that proposes to replace all federal income and payroll based taxes with a national retail sales tax. Under the Fair Tax, income tax, employment tax and estate and gift tax would he repealed and taxes would be paid im property or services hut not on personal or corporate income. Prehates, monthly rebates few families meeting certain size and income requirements, would be implemented to ensure that Amen cam do not pay federal taxes on spending up to the poverty line. Where does legislation currently stand? The bdl was introduced in the current congressional session in early January and has been referred to the House Ways and Means committee fix’ discussion and investigation into its molts. In order to become law, Fair Tax would need to be voted in by the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed into law by the president. A need for change Hdgjngion, director of the O’Connell Center for executive Development at USC A, said that she believes the Fair Tax is a % table alternative to the currant tax system, which, she said, is just not working anymore. PIMM Ma QIA, page 11A Will proposal help or hinder citizens in South Carolina? By ROB NOVIT Senior writer he introduction of a S.C. Fair Tax Act would be a game-changcr that would propel South Carolina to the top tier in attracting new jobs and industry, said S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aikcn. He introduced the measure in March with 63 co-sponsors already on board. Taylor likes to joke that he always has his *‘ele\ ator speech” prepared: “You replace the income tax both corporale and personal -and the exiling state sales tax with one new tax on all new goods ami sen ices.” Although the S.C. House won’t deal with his legislative bill as the end of the session approaches, ’’as tax reform takes center stage, the Fair Tax w ill become a major part of the discussion,” Taylor said. The U.S. Congress also has Fair Tax bills rn the House and Senate, but it’s entirely reasonable fix' the S.C. General Assembly to pursue a similar measure at the state level, said Pat Dickerson, a Fair fax advocate in Aiken who often speaks on the subject. “We’ll do it first in South Carolina,” he said. “The federal versions require a constitutional amendment. lf the 16th amendment (which authorizes an income tax) is not repealed, the Fair Tax would be worthless and “ This is a fair way to administer taxes in a way that would create more jobs and influence businesses. S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-A iken not effective. The stale would not require such an amendment.'' The state bill would eliminate the scores of sales tax exemptions that lawmakers have enacted on cr several decades. The state collects about S2.3 billion in sales tax revenue ev en as it exempts items that could bring in another $2.8 billion. “Each exemption may have had meat at one time,” Taylor said. “Big w hen you look back, the sales tax on twine was exempted back in the I‘MOs. So was butcher-wrapped meat. Most people understand that the exemptions are w ildly oui of hand. Lf we w ipe them all old, there will be a lot more fairness.” The concept is not regressive for low-income people, Taylor and Dickerson contend. Every legal resident and families will receive prebates of varying amounts. Those at the poverty level won’t pay the Fair Tax up to prebate • amount, Dickerson said. Taylor cited statistics from the , S.C. Fair Tax (ftgam/ation, that a • family of four with a $ 146 monthly • prebate would have to spend as • much as $2,400 a month to actually • pay any sales tax. But the monthly credit won’t be . enough, said Jerrold Saudi, an Aiken • resident who opposes the Fair Tax • concept • “That prebate has a number of factors that are complicated, including a sliding scale,” he said. “It won’t take a w hole lot of purchases to exhaust that number.” As Sundt argued in a recent column rn the Aiken Stamiani, that’s because the Fair Tax extends further in reach - taxing new homes and cars, rental house and apartments, a w ide range of medically-related services and products, home heating, electricity, health and car insurance and more. “Sounds like a not-so-good deal for uuiiv iduals and families,” Sundt wrote in his column. “The big problem is that we’re taxing everything It’s nut voodoo economics, Dickerson said. This approach would tax people who don’t pay income tax for a variety of reasons. Those participating in illegal activities don’t pay taxes, neither do undocumented residents. Affluent petiple don’t pay taxes on inv estments, he said. PIMM SM TAX, page UA ;