Wednesday, March 10, 2004

George's Antique Road Show

Notes From a Personal Friend:

"Buried in the proposed new White House budget as endorsed by President Bush is a plan to cut capital gains taxes (for the super-rich) on their art, antiques and other collectibles." This was not labeled under "tax relief," but rather lumped under measures designed to "simplify the tax laws for families."

Geez ...... it's not enough that this guy gave himself and America's wealthy a huge tax break on their income tax, now they may get a big break on their art treasures as well.

Looks like George is trying to unload some of his family's Van Goghs, maybe. At last check, the U.S. is going $500 Billion more in debt for just the last fiscal year. That brings the total to around $7 Trillion. The consequences are dire for all of us if this is allowed to continue.

Here's an excerpt from the WSJ article:

Thinking of selling your stamp collection or that spare Van Gogh?

If President Bush has his way with Congress, many sellers will wind up paying less in capital-gains taxes than under current law. But the president faces a stiff battle.

Buried in the administration's proposed new budget is a plan to cut capital-gains tax rates on works of art, antiques, stamps, coins, precious gems and other "collectibles." However, it isn't labeled as tax relief. Instead, it's lumped under measures designed to "simplify the tax laws for families."

Simplification is a noble goal, especially in the remarkably complex realm of capital-gains taxes.

But critics see the Bush proposal in a different light. "Sure, this is 'simplification,' " says Rep. Charles Rangel, ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. "If a person just happens to be selling millions of dollars worth of Faberge eggs or other expensive collectibles, he gets a new tax break. Simple."

The result: For art and other collectibles, the change would produce a maximum effective rate of 25% for someone in the top 35% ordinary-tax bracket. That works out to a rate cut of three percentage points, which would mean large savings on multimillion dollar art sales. And it would mean lower rates for those in lower tax brackets, the Treasury says.

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