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Middle-Class Break

October 23, 1988

The Board of Economists report for Oct. 9 repeatedly referred to the tax break for the rich which would be in effect if favorable long-term capital gain taxation were to return. The article neglected to point out that there was and still is the alternative minimum tax which nullifies any preferential treatment for the wealthy.

A reduced long-term capital gain tax is truly a tax break for lower tax bracket taxpayers. I specialize in financial planning for moderate- to low-income people, mostly teachers. If they can sell their little rental or mutual fund or shares of stock inherited years ago and get a tax break, the taxes saved go either to savings or right back into the economy.

Furthermore, the California maximum tax rate of 9.3% and the federal maximum tax rate of 33% combine for a 42.3% bite out of each $1,000 of gain. The taxpayer making $50,000 or less is not classified as rich. That $423 paid in taxes is proportionately a higher tax bill for him than it is for a wealthier taxpayer.

A favorable long-term capital gain tax is not for the rich. It is for the middle-income American taxpayer.

DIANE P. BLAKESLEE

San Luis Obispo

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