Area Business Owners Weigh In On President's Plan - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Area Business Owners Weigh In On President's Plan

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President Obama waves from Air Force One Friday before leaving to visit a toy factory in Montgomery County. President Obama waves from Air Force One Friday before leaving to visit a toy factory in Montgomery County.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. -

President Obama visited a Hatfield, PA toy factory Friday, to pitch his plan to balance the budget ahead of the year-end "Fiscal Cliff" of drastic budget cuts and across-the-board tax hikes.

Included in the plan is a call for an extension of Bush-era tax cuts to middle- and low income workers, and to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans- those earning more than $250,000 a year.

"So," said the president, "that means 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses wouldn't see their income taxes go up by a single dime."

In the struggling commercial district along Baltimore Ave. in Clifton Heights, Delaware County, you'd be hard-pressed to find a business owner who'd be affected by the president's plan to raise taxes on big earners.

Dean Green owns a deli and seafood shop. He has two employees.

When FOX 29s Bruce Gordon asked Green whether he'd pay more under the presidents "tax the rich" plan, he laughed.

"I wish I was at that point, but I'm not."

But opinions on the tax-hike-for-the-wealthy vary from business to business.

Green, for example, believes it would stifle the incentive to grow his operation, "because if you produce, you're going to be penalized and it's just going to be taken from you and you gain nothing."

Down the street, Mike DeRosa works by himself, selling and repairing vacuum cleaners.

He, too is well below the $250,000 per year income level, but opposes the proposed hike because, he says, it wouldn't raise enough money.

"If it would help it out, and get us on the right track, I'd be in favor of it," he told FOX 29s Gordon. "But it's not going to help anything out."

To put the Obama tax hike in context, a person earning $500,000 a year would see his income tax bill rise by $11,500.

That's a chunk of change, but would it really be enough to change the boss's mind about increasing or decreasing his workforce?

Across the avenue, Ken Scott runs a company that sells and installs fire alarm systems.

He has 18 employees, but his business is down.

In fact, he's taken to leasing out his parking lot to a guy selling Christmas trees.

Gordon asked Scott how much of a role taxes play in his decision to lay off or hire workers.

"I don't think the taxes have been that big of a deal," he said. "Hiring decisions are based on volume. And if we have the volume of work to do it, I will hire."

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