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UNCW professor, colleagues have solution for fiscal cliff


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With the country heading closer to the edge of the so-called fiscal cliff, many Americans are hoping Congress will reach a compromise soon.

One UNCW professor says she has come up with a plan that would satisfy both sides.

"Almost all Americans that are paying income tax will see their taxes go up," UNCW Accounting and Taxation Professor Dr. Cherie Hennig said. "We have agreement on the Republican and the Democratic side for 98 percent of the taxpayers seeing no increase. The disagreement is on that 'two percent.'"

Hennig says she and three other tax professors across the country have come up with a plan to satisfy both sides. They call their plan the MAXTax Fix. The plan would cap the tax on small business owners at a 34-percent rate, which is the same as the corporate tax rate. They say the proposal agrees with the Republican idea of protecting small businesses from higher taxes.

"When Rep. (John) Boehner says that a tax increase to 39.6 percent would adversely affect small business owners, that is correct," Hennig said

But the plan also acknowledges the Democrats' stance that the wealthy can afford to pay more.

"It would give President Obama what he wants: an increase in the graduated tax rate so that the top rate would be 39.6 percent," she said.

That highest rate would apply to people making at least $390,050.

Hennig believes the American people are tired of the fighting in Washington. She says there is no reason the two sides cannot come together.

"We come from different universities, different political backgrounds. If the four of us can agree, it seems that there should be the opportunity for Congress to come together in a compromise," Hennig said.

The MAXTax Fix plan was published today in a major accounting journal. The authors also submitted directly to House Speaker Boehner.

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