Taxpayers concerned with approaching fiscal cliff - WSMV Channel 4

Taxpayers concerned with approaching fiscal cliff

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The clock is ticking on the fiscal cliff.

While lawmakers still are trying to work out a deal, many Middle Tennesseans have already lost faith.

"They're not going to do anything," said one concerned citizen. "They haven't done anything for years."

"At this point, I don't think there's anything we can do about it, so it's up to the leaders, so whatever they decide," another taxpayer said.

On Jan. 1, the fiscal cliff will trigger a series of tax increases and steep cuts.

Many estimate taxes will go up an average of $2,200 a year for a middle-class family.

Local financial planner Robert Bolen said it will be between 5 to 8 percent less money in your pocket and you should plan accordingly.

"I would recommend you look at your family budget and see where you are going to cut that, because Uncle Sam is going to get their part," said Bolen.

He said he has gotten a lot of questions from clients about whether or not to make changes in their stocks and investments ahead of the cliff. He said that's not a good idea because the pain should be temporary.

"Don't make any short-term moves in your investment strategies because of this event, which in all likelihood will get resolved," said Bolen. "Maybe not before Dec. 31, but early next year."

Those cuts will impact many people in Middle Tennessee.

There are 30,000 unemployed workers in Tennessee set to lose their federal unemployment benefits on Tuesday. That includes about 2,200 people in Davidson County.

Metro schools could also see steep cuts to federal funding for low-income students, special education and professional development.

School officials estimate it could impact 16,000 students and potentially cost 64 jobs. Many of those would be school-level positions.

They also expect an increase in class sizes and cuts to Pre-K services.

Many Middle Tennesseans seem resigned to their fate and have already started to plan accordingly.

"I'm very concerned because as a person who makes less than $25,000 a year, it concerns me," said a taxpayer. "I've been keeping up with what's going on on the internet."

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