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Letters to the editor for Dec. 8

Who is 833 School Board listening to?

I read the article on the Spanish Immersion issue from Dec 1. if I have this of the seven board members, Jim Gelbmann, already essentially cast his vote in favor of one of the two options to expand the Spanish immersion program. This was based on a 'task force' that the 'board' employed/directed. Now I read that Gelbmann was on the task force? Is this not a textbook example of a 'conflict of interest?' So much for a neutral opinion.

I also attended the first public meeting and the massive crowd made it crystal clear as to what their opinion was, and that was to leave the immersion program as it is.

If the board's decision would have been contrary to the parents, students and teachers of Woodbury....may I ask....who were they listening to?

Jeff Mueller


Expired tax laws will have significant impact on middle class families

There is much talk about whether Congress will extend or make permanent the tax cuts passed during 2001 & 2003. As many readers know, the 2001 and 2003 tax laws were passed with a 'sunset provision.' The sunset date is Dec. 31, 2010. If Congress does not act, the tax law will expire and tax rates will go up. These changes will have a dramatic impact on middle class familes, which will be felt in their paychecks in January.

As an accountant, this situation has been very important to me. Thus, I did a study on the implications of the expiration of these laws if Congress fails to do anything. The analysis includes salaries of $50K, $75K, & $100K. This analysis evaluates the federal withholding differences based on the 2010 withholding table as well as the 2000 & 2001 tables (I used the 2000 and 2001 tables as part of the analysis because upon expiration of the law, the law will go back to the table before the enactment of these laws. I assumed one of these tables will be used beginning in January 2011).

The analysis also assumed the employee was married and paid every two weeks. The differences in withholding is significant. Take-home pay would be reduced between $71 and $223 per pay period. Based on 26-pay periods, this amounts to additional taxes withheld of $1,846 to $5,798 per year.

As families continue to struggle, a tax increase is the last thing they need. Congress should be working to prevent this burden on families.

Furthermore, the tax hike, if implemented, will further damage the economy's ability to grow and get us out of this economic funk.

Brian Marum