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Local small business owners worry about 'fiscal cliff'

December 11, 2012 3:14:06 PM PST
The political battle part of the fiscal cliff in Washington camouflages the real impact falling off the fiscal cliff will have on all of us.

Taxes will go up, and not just income tax, and services will be cut.

The impact is real.

Barbara Grillo runs her husband's architectural firm in Port Jefferson.

They employee about nine people.

She worries that if Congress agrees to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year, it could hurt her business.

"We're not making hundreds of millions of dollars like the other corporations, we're just surviving and we're not going to be able to be able to survive if we have to continue to pay these increases but they will," said Barbara Grillo, small business owner.

It's not just the income tax that concerns her.

Congress has put several options on the table in order to avoid the fiscal cliff.

- They may not adjust the alternative minimum tax
- They may get rid of the mortgage interest deduction
- And they may exclude income for employer provided health insurance

"Our health care costs have gone up to $15,000 a month, how could I possibly afford more?" Grillo said.

It's not just small business owners who are feeling the angst of the fiscal cliff, but local financial planners and attorneys are also feeling the pressure.

"The biggest problem is the panic people have and that they're not in control," said Nancy Burner, tax attorney.

Nancy Burner is a tax attorney in Setauket.

She says she's been getting a lot of calls from clients who what to know how the fiscal cliff could affect them.

The problem, Burner says, is financial planners are also in the dark because lack of leadership and solid policy coming from Washington.

"We know there are going to be increases in taxes we know there are going to be cuts in benefits but tell it what is so we can plan for it because that's what we do," Burner said.

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