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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Grasping change

  • Did you happen to notice less money in your first 2013 paycheck?
    That's due to the payroll tax increase.
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  • Did you happen to notice less money in your first 2013 paycheck?
    That's due to the payroll tax increase.
    It's a 2 percent increase every American is having deducted from their checks, but it depends all on how you take it. Some folks with large annual salaries may not have much to worry about.
    "It is a fair amount actually, if you think about it. I think it's going to be a little shocking to people right away, but it's not a huge amount," Eric Larson, lecturer in business at Culver-Stockton College, said. "It depends on the individual. I think it will change their buying habits to some extent on some products. Instead of buying the high-end, maybe they'll move down to the generic brand, especially with food. At the same time, like anything else, it's what people value the most they'll spend on, what they don't value most they'll scrimp and save on."
    Larson said this probably won't have too much of an impact on the economy, however, if this particular tax continues to rise little by little over time, impact could be felt.
    "I don't know if it'll hurt the economy this time around, actually doing it now might not be a bad time to do it," Larson said. "The economy overall, we have growth, we.re in a stage where we're going to be growing further. It may not be nearly as fast as some people want, but I think by being a bit in a growth cycle — which is what I think we're getting into — it may not effect as much."
    Of course pay has a role in all of this. For some Americans every bit of money they get in their paycheck is needed for everyday life, however others may just see the 2 percent loss as a deduction in luxury expenses.
    "If you're getting something close to a living wage or slightly above minimum wage, percentage-wise that could make a big difference," Larson said. "Even though it's the same percentage-wise across the board, it's just those people don't have as a much money to buy basics like food and other things. That's going to have a greater impact on them than someone making $150,000 (annually). Even though that's going to be a larger amount in terms of dollars, they're not so close on the edge. It's not the decision of, 'Am I going to buy milk today or not?'"
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