Tax hike to hurt retailers: White House

Nov 27 2012, 02:48 IST
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SummaryWhite House economists warned Monday that the uncertainty of a potential hike in taxes next year for middle-class taxpayers under the looming fiscal cliff could hurt consumer confidence during the crucial Christmas holiday shopping season.

White House economists warned Monday that the uncertainty of a potential hike in taxes next year for middle-class taxpayers under the looming fiscal cliff could hurt consumer confidence during the crucial Christmas holiday shopping season.

In a new report that coincides with Congress’ return after the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House says that if lawmakers don’t halt the Jan 1 automatic increase on in taxes for households earning less than $250,000, consumers might curtail their shopping in advance.

Across-the-board tax increases and deep spending cuts will take effect, with the possibility of driving the country into another recession, if president Barack Obama and a divided Congress can’t reach a deal by the end of the year to avoid them.

“As we approach the holiday season, which accounts for close to one-fifth of industry sales, retailers can’t afford the threat of tax increases on middle-class families,” the report says.

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