Tax Brackets - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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moneygreen34President Bush and U.S. House leaders agreed last week to a tentative economic stimulus package that will inject $150 billion into the country’s struggling economy. The proposal is scheduled for a vote in Congress this week. A lot of media attention has been placed on the plan’s objective to disperse rebate checks ranging from $300 for individuals who did not pay federal income tax but who earned more than $3000 last year, $600 per couple; $600 to individuals who paid income tax, $12,000 to couples filing jointly, (including an additional $300 for each child). However, it is the benefits left off of the package that economist Algernon Austin believes might actually hurt most low- and average-income blacks.

Austin, the director of the race, ethnicity and economy program at the Economic Policy Institute, notes that the plan excludes aid to state governments, funding for infrastructure projects, extending unemployment insurance, and increasing food stamp benefits and Medicaid payments to states. “These types of policies will disproportionately benefit black Americans because blacks are disproportionately poor and low-income,” Austin says.

“This is a very weak stimulus package” Austin says. “The plan does not do enough in terms of meeting the needs of average Americans. The benefits are skewed toward higher-income individuals.”

According to Austin, roughly 20 million households, mainly low-income seniors, will not receive any rebates because they do not earn enough money and are not required to file tax returns.

He says that without aid from the federal government, state economies, some which are already faltering, will begin to cut back social service programs such as Medicare and SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) at a time when a recession is going to increase the demand for these particular programs. On the other hand, repairing bridges and schools and various other infrastructure projects would directly produce jobs.

R. Donahue Peebles, chairman and CEO of the Peebles Corp. (No. 13 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list with $403 million in sales), a real estate and hotel conglomerate, agrees that economic growth depends on customer spending, but he suggests that we need people in the middle to higher tiered income-earnings brackets to come back into the marketplace since they do the most spending.

“It is important that people who have jobs start spending, by traveling, staying at hotels, and consuming products so that people in the service industry can have work,” he advises. Peebles also believes that accelerated depreciation, one of the bonuses the plan extends to business owners, will encourage businesses to invest in new equipment.

Some argue that corporate tax breaks have a limited effect. “A growing economy is better for businesses than additional write-offs, which won’t mean much if the economy continues to decline,” Austin says.

Peebles insists that the housing rescue arm of the stimulus package will drive economic momentum. “It is important that we have a vibrant real estate industry because [housing] is the one last major product that we manufacture here,” says Peebles.

High capital gains

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.